Scotland the Beautiful: Stonehaven and Aberdeen

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Well, it’s that time of week again where I update you about all of my shenanigans with the International Society as we explore the most beautiful places in Scotland.

We met at the glorious hour of 7:45am. These trips require me to be smart on Friday nights, maybe the only downfall for the amazing opportunity to go adventuring for a day. The rest of this blog may or may not be a blatant rip-off of the itinerary that we were given at the beginning of the day.

Our first stop was the little town of Dundee, the fourth biggest city in Scotland, located where the River Tay meets the North Sea. The River Tay is the longest river in Scotland! I didn’t take a picture of the river because I was too busy drinking coffee and taking pictures with this statue. He may not be the longest river in Scotland but I’d say he’s pretty cool!

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We also got the unique privilege of trying on some “traditional Scottish headgear”:

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I joke, obviously, but we did have a very fun trip to Dundee despite the fact that I avoided all things historical. Well, that’s not strictly true. We did go to The Discovery Point where we saw the RRS Discovery, a ship that made a successful journey to Antarctica in 1901 and is now living at it’s home port.

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It’s not a fantastic photo but history, am I right?

Next we visited Stonehaven and Dunnottar Castle which was SOOO AMAZING AAGH UNEXPLAINABLE BEAUTY.

Dunnottar Castle has soooo much history including housing one of the most powerful families in Scotland in the 14th century and being the hiding place of the Scottish Crown Jewels in the 17th century. Maybe more recognizable though is that it is the location of the 2012 Pixar Movie Brave!
If you thought the movie looked beautiful, you should see the real place.
Let’s compare.
Here’s Pixar:

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And here’s my very own photo from my very own camera that I looked through with my very own eyes.

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I mean, a place has to be pretty darn beautiful to inspire a Pixar film. And this place WAS. These pictures can in no way describe what it was like to be there. But I will post all of them anyway for your viewing pleasure. Also, it was very very windy. We all had to stay away from cliff edges in case a gust came along. But the wind was great for my top model photo shoot.

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And don’t worry. I am not too egotistical. I have some friends.

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I didn’t go into the actual castle but that was because there were plenty of walks to do around the castle with absolutely spectacular views. (Can you tell how beautiful I think this place is yet?) Anyway, we went on walks along all the cliffs, explored the sandy beach, found cool alcoves, and just generally acted like wilderness explorers for an hour and a half. Here is my photo documentation of that fun.

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(press the photo to make it bigger! it’s amazing!)

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Our final destination was the town of Aberdeen. Aberdeen is known as the “Granite City” and for a good reason. I’ve never seen such a gray city in my life. Every single building was gray, the streets were gray, the sky was gray. But we had a great time. I spent a good amount of time enjoying the company of friends in a restaurant where I finally tried haggis! Granted, it was on a burger with whiskey sauce and came with a pint of cider but I loved it! I would eat haggis again!  Plus, I really can’t think of a better time than enjoying a Scottish meal with good company. The Aberdeen Celtic football game was on in the other room (soccer for all you Americans) and although the Glasgow team all the Aberdonians were cheering loudly and it was a good time.

We stopped briefly at the St. Nicolas Kirk to visit the dead people:

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Saw the outside of the Marischal Museum, the second largest granite building in the world (*coughgray*)

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And visited the beautiful sandy beach.

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The beach was so windy that the sandy was flying down the coast and you could see it swirling as it went. Luckily, I was bundled up (I have learned well from previous trips) so I just found this fun. I didn’t mind the windy weather.

Well, this was another amazing day in Scotland. Although I haven’t been outside of the country yet I am so grateful that I am getting to see everything in Scotland first. It is truly a beautiful, beautiful place. Often unbelievably beautiful! I have future travel plans but I am developing a deep love for Scotland. Amazing history, amazing sites, amazing people.

Cheers!

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