Trip to the North-East   1 comment

Since Luca came to visit us, we decided to go for a weekend trip, and visit the North-East of Scotland, around Aberdeen. Here is a map:

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aberdeen_trip 124We left from Glasgow in the late morning, after having obtained the VISA to go to India (more to come soon). I wanted to visit a whisky distillery sooner or later, and we found one on our way, just north of Dundee. In Scotland, it is possible to visit almost all the distilleries: there is a guided tour in which they show the distillery while explaining the the complicated process to obtain the precious "water of life" (or "uisge beatha, in gaelic). The visit is very cheap and there is a taste of whisky included. The distillery we visited – Fettecairn – although not really famous, is one of the oldest. Nevertheless, the famous whisky region, the Speyside, is in the middle of the highlands, and far from out route.

aberdeen_trip 148Very hungry, as noon was passed a few hours before, we headed to the west coast, to stop in Montrose. The town has a big bay, which looks like a lake, but is connected to the sea by a narrow channel of water. After having had lunch with our just-made sandwiches, and a walk in the town centre, we visited the marvellous golden seashore. It’s a beach, few miles long, facing the North Sea, with a spectacular thin sand. It’s the first time I see such a beach in Scotland. In spite of the sunny sky and the beautiful seaside, there were not so many people having a swim of lying in the sun: I strongly believe it was due to the cold temperature and a chilly wind!

Picture 092 Drive north again, until we reached Aberdeen at dinner time. Usual search for a guest-house for the night. We end up in one, owned by a Philippine woman, quite rude and strict with the rules. Usually you find nice old ladies, but this time most of the B&B were busy and it started to be late.
Saturday night in a pub in Aberdeen. I must say that the nightlife in this city, the third biggest of Scotland, is very active: same level of Glasgow, or even a bit more! Of course, the city is smaller, but there is the same atmosphere, with many guys and girls walking and chatting on the street, while deciding in which club to go or being in a cue to get in. The girls, of course, dressed in the usual way (i.e., almost undressed).

Sunday morning quick visit of the city, in a more "cultural" way. Aberdeen is called "granite city" because all the buildings are made with granite. This gives the city a uniform grey colour, anywhere. A walk in the city centre, one church and then back to the car, this time heading South.

aberdeen_trip 165

The town of Stonehaven in the middle of July is hosting the highland games, so a stop was a must. The highland games are part of the folk tradition here in Scotland. It’s a day in which some big guys, wearing kilts, challenge in many ancient sports, like throwing heavy stones or tossing the caber. Girls are competing in traditional dance at the same time. Everything is surrounded by food and beer, and a lot of fun.

A special guest for this year’s highland games in Stonehaven was the sunshine. 


aberdeen_trip 177Very close to Stonehaven, there is the beautiful Dunnottar castle. Although it is quite ruined, it was build on a sea cliff, connected to the land through a narrow path. The effect is amazing to see. Its particular position makes this monument one of the favourite subject for many photographers.

   aberdeen_trip 180

aberdeen_trip 237Last stop in our trip was the little village of Arbroath. It’s a fisherman village, and it’s famous for its typical dish, the "smokie". The smokie is essentially a haddock which is cooked and smoked (using oak wood) just before being served. This gives a very particular taste and it’s really a delicacy. During the week, the smokie is prepared by fishmongers, and it’s possible to have it take-away. Being Sunday, we decided to taste it in a restaurant, on the seaside, sitting outside, enjoying the sunset.

Very nice trip!



Posted July 21, 2007 by mtcerio in Uncategorized

One response to “Trip to the North-East

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  1. Hi!
    Well, first I must say Scotland is really a very beautiful place; at least what I visited during these few days passed there.
    This is also thanks to Matteo and his will and wish to organize this trip for the occasion.
    Just a couple of other comments.
    When Matteo says: “in a restaurant, on the seaside, sitting outside, enjoying the sunset”, well, it was not properly as you can imagine; in fact, although Scotland is at high latitude and the sunset come very late in July, personally I regret a bit one warm table inside the restaurant. And also you Teo, that rushed in the middle of the dinner to take the jacket you had left in your car. With regard to Camilla’s opinion on this, it’s useless, she is a desperate case.
    Moreover,  we were very lucky to sea the Golden seashore, because this beach is completely covered by the sea when it’s high tide. So this could be a reason why Matteo had never seen such a beach in Scotland!
    Or it was really necessary I go to Scotland to see it. Because otherwise they are always studying new trajectories to go to other planets closed in their University. J
    Only one thing yet: I think Matteo really has a future as writer, when he’ll decide to retired from academic life. Or when he will be a guru of space trajectories optimization and he could study them not full time, having some PhD working for him!
    Sorry for my poor English
    P.S. thanks to Camilla for my last photo on the way back

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