When I arrived in Aberdeen, Scotland I was immediately reminded of the Upper Peninsula. Aberdeen is on the coast of Scotland about 9 hours north of the busy streets of London. As soon as I arrived I could sense that the atmosphere was very laid back and relaxed as opposed to the hectic energy I feel here in London. Aberdeen is known as the “Granite City” named after the victorian era architecture using granite found in the city. This nickname is no joke, the whole of Aberdeen is practically carved out of granite. Looking down the streets all I saw were rows of buildings and houses all made of granite. It actually made for some pretty cool pictures and it did look nice, but I must say I could foresee seeing all that gray every day becoming slightly depressing.
On my second day in Scotland I rented a car and drove from Aberdeen up to Inverness and Loch Ness. On the way there I took the back routes and saw some beautiful scenery including rolling hills, farms, and castles. One of my favorite parts was when we had to stop the car because there was a herd of sheep crossing the road. Of course I got out and tried to pet one but they were not very friendly so I herded them back into their field so we could cross the road safely. I also stopped at the Horse Welfare Society which takes in abused or neglected horses and rehabilitates them. The staff there, who were extremely friendly, showed us around, and answered all of our questions. It was actually quite sad reading about the way some people treat horses and animals in general. I took a picture with a little pony there that was rescued. He was so sweet, I just couldn’t understand how anyone could ever mistreat him. I really wanted to take him home with me but as my Mother would say, I already have enough animals so we had to move on.
Once in Loch Ness it was 4:00 p.m. and already getting dark!!! Although I was disappointed that it was already dark, Loch Ness was still beautiful at night and I was able to get a few decent night shots of it. Inside of a cool little gift shop on the water I looked though books and discovered the origination of the my Mother’s maiden name, McCartney. I even found which tartans were worn by our ancestors and saw what our family crest looks like. After that I traveled back up to Inverness, walked around the waterfront area, and had dinner in town.
The next day I traveled to Stonehaven, a small fishing town about 20 minutes south of Aberdeen. Again, it reminded me a lot of the Upper Peninsula. It was very laid back and the people were all friendly and welcoming. The town had really pretty beaches and although it was freezing outside I had to put my feet in the Ocean. Unfortunately my time in Stonehaven was cut short because I had to be back at the airport by 5:00, but I still had a great time in Scotland and I am very glad that I had the chance to go!
Next week I will be playing in my first polo challenge (called a chukka) against other students at Ascot Park. I am also getting ready for finals and trying to sort out when I will be coming home. I can’t believe that the semester will be over in two short weeks!!