Finding My Way Around “The Granite City”

Sunday- our first day out and about! There we are right in front of our apartment called Skene House

I love this picture but it doesn’t do the scene justice. This is when we were walking down Union Street right in the city and all down that street hanging from one building to the next were colorful banners! They were from the Diamond Jubilee celebration- the Queen’s 60th anniversary of being Queen!

We stopped by Central Library and got a temporary library card. They have a great children’s section with toys and story times plus a great media center with DVD’s. We thought the DVD’s we brought would work in their DVD players but they don’t!

Monday was my hubby’s birthday (I came just in time!) so we went out to a little pizza place, which actually had the best pizza I think I’ve ever had! (Yes, I caught Marlee with a weird look on her face!)

Here we are in Union Terrace Gardens with His Majesty’s Theater in the background.

These are some of the first places Mike took me to see when I arrived here in Aberdeen, also known as “the granite city” because all of the buildings are made out of granite.  He was quickly trying to get me acquainted with the streets since  he knew I would be walking around by myself.  This is quite a task since I routinely manage to get lost even at home in a city I have lived in since I was in the third grade!  Nevertheless, on Tuesday I wanted to go out and do some shopping and Union Street was only a ten minute walk or so.  We walked down and found an adorable toy shop with a wonderful lady who gave us a list of fun things to do in Aberdeen with children.  Then we made it down to one of the malls (the malls close at 6pm everyday by the way- I can’t figure out why!), we got a snack, stopped by the co-operative food store for some groceries and started back.  It was a beautiful sunny day, although chilly and I was feeling really good about my journey so far.  I kept telling myself, almost pinching myself, “You’re in Scotland, you’re walking around Scotland!”  But in predictable Brittany fashion I started back for the apartment and couldn’t remember how to get there!  I walked down one street where I thought I would soon see the street I was supposed to turn down, but I didn’t see it.  I kept walking but nothing looked familiar.  I made careful note as I walked to the mall of the many unique shops on the way so I would remember my way back.  I didn’t see anything I had seen before.  Oh dear.  I ended up asking several nice people where Esselmont Ave was, some seemed confident, others didn’t, but their directions weren’t getting me where I wanted to be.  Finally one woman and a very nice man (who I asked directions from before and didn’t know actually came back over to where I was to let me know he had gotten directions) led me to the street I needed to go down.  I turned the corner and it was like the skies parted- everything was familiar again!  What I had forgotten (which Mike DID tell me about) was that I was looking for a street that had two different names.  (Kind of how Hwy 6 and 1960 are the same road). Ugh.  Well, we made it back and what an adventure for my first day out!

It is beautiful here.  Many of the buildings are very old.  Cobblestone and pebbly streets are everywhere.  Beautiful church steeples rise up towards the gray sky.  Trees line narrow roads and where it’s green, it’s really green.  It’s just how you’d imagine Scotland to be- beautiful old stone walls with moss and plants peeking out and sheep dotting country fields.  Many of the apartment and house doors are brightly colored- blue, red, hot pink, light purple, creating color against otherwise monotonous gray granite buildings.  And I still have so much to see!

What I have noticed is that they are very conscientious here.  They are big on saving energy- lights may not come on until you walk through and trigger the sensor.  Also recycling is a greater effort here.  What I really like is that on the foods you buy at the store and in the restaurants, if the food is vegetarian or vegan it will clearly say so.  It will say “V- suitable for vegetarians (or vegans)”  How nice!

So now we are trying to decide what to see this weekend, perhaps a castle or the beach.  There is an international market going on so I think we will see that on Saturday.  For now I am hoping we will soon get past this jet lag!

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. home, garden, life
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 22:10:42

    Nice read! Come over and visit my blog/world! 😉


  2. Walking The Rough Road
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 23:17:44

    Beautiful isn’t it? I know you would love it! enjoy the rest of your trip.


  3. Booksphotographsandartwork
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 23:47:11

    Looks like fun. So green and beautiful.


  4. manyflowers
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 14:25:44

    Ok, now I’m officially jealous!! Sounds absolutely lovely and it seems you are doing an amazing job acclimating! Tell Mike, HI! Love the pics, but wish we could TALK! Ellen


    • thegentlehome
      Jun 28, 2012 @ 14:29:27

      Yeah did I mention my phone doesn’t work here? So I had no way to call Mike and tell him I was lost and needed help! I’m grateful for nice Scottish people 🙂


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