On July 2nd, we packed up our suitcase, car seat and 1.5 year old for a trip to visit my father in Scotland. He's been living there for about a year, working at the International School of Aberdeen. After a long layover in Frankfurt, we finally touched down at Aberdeen's tiny airport. Aberdeen is known for its granite buildings... pretty much every building is made of the stuff! Its a very, um, grey material... so it gives you the impression that the houses are ancient, massive and solid. Its a good thing that Aberdeen also has a great tradition of gardening, so the summer months are enhanced by gorgeous blooms of every description.
On our first day there, we went down to the cold north sea at the Aberdeen Esplanade and walked along the windswept boardwalks. Its July, but you still need a hoodie and several layering options incase it rains.
We walked down to Footdee, a little outcropping of small, carefully decorated houses all set around interior courtyard-style promenades (to avoid the blustery ocean winds, I imagine.) They all had a lot of character!
The next day we visited the stately Crathes castle, complete with pruned hedges, secret gardens and tapestry-adorned rooms.
Torin very much enjoyed getting galloped around the grounds and chasing bunnies. And one afternoon we stopped by a roadside farmers stand and he got to run in his first wheat field. Much fun was had by all.
Another day, another castle! The light at Dunnottar Castle was spectacular as some leaden clouds moved in from the mainland.
We went for a nice drive down the coast to a small fishing village south of Aberdeen called Stone Haven. There we enjoyed dark beers overlooking the water, and you could really sense that the locals were taking in as much sun and warmth as they could given the long streches of grey that are common here.
In Stone Haven we also
enjoyed what was named the best fish & chips shop in the whole UK. It was, infact, delicious.
We were fed very well throughout the trip, though frequently we inhaled the delicious grub before I could document the dishes...
Clotted cream and scones at the Bridge of Feugh.... mmmmm.
And the hydrangeas around town were spectacular and varied...
We really enjoyed Scotland. We will be back... someday.