After my stop in Edinburgh, I took a short train ride farther north to Aberdeen. Short note on the train ride: it is beautiful. The day I went, it was grey and rainy but the views you get of cliffsides over the North Sea are still amazing. Also there was a little girl sitting at a table across the aisle from me teaching her grandfather a card game and I swear to you my Scottish accent was better than hers, so all around it was a pretty great train ride.
Aberdeen is…grey. Fittingly, one of Aberdeen’s nicknames is The Grey City. More often, it’s The Granite City, because many of the buildings are made from local granite (which is why it’s so grey…). That’s all well and good, but when you arrive in Aberdeen on a typical Scottish summer day (grey, breezy, always threatening rain), it is not exactly the most attractive place. My first couple of days there, I wandered around a bit, getting my bearings. I got soggy, I was cold, and I developed a fear/hatred of seagulls. People warned me that it got dark much later in Aberdeen, since it was further north (true fact, in high summer it is still not fully dark at 10:15pm), but no one warned me about the seagulls. Blog readers, I am here to warn you: Aberdeen is full of seagulls, and they are all loud whiny assholes. I don’t know what this seagull did to get red paint all over it, but I’m SURE IT WAS DESERVED.
The cab driver that brought me from the train station to my temporary home assured me Aberdeen was very safe (“you won’t be kidnapped and sold into white slavery!” he said apropos of nothing, allaying my most pressing fears, surely) and gave me a flying tour of the city on the way to Old Aberdeen. He pointed to the North Sea, telling me that Aberdeen has a beach, but I probably wouldn’t want to go in the water. But not to worry–there’s no sharks. “It’s not the sharks that’ll kill ye! Ken what will?” he asked, with a look in the rearview mirror like he definitely had me stumped. “The cold?” I guessed. “AYE, THE COLD!” he agreed, cackling. So uh, welcome to Aberdeen?