“Come up to Scotland, and we’ll drink lots of whiskey!” was all it took to convince me to book a last-minute ticket to Aberdeen to meet up with a friend I made over a year prior, whilst travelling in Cambodia.
Ryan met me at the airport and we headed back to his hometown just outside of Aberdeen. We had previously discussed what to do during my visit, and had made all of these grand plans to head up to the Isle of Skye and go camping.
Well, that didn’t happen because we drank whiskey. A lot of it. We spent the entirety of the next day with epic hangovers, moving from our beds to the sofa and back again. The majority of the week was much spent in the same way, but boy was it fun.
We made one botched attempt to head up to the distilleries around Keith, only to find out that they were in fact shut on Wednesdays, which was the day we had decided to go. In fact, most of the businesses in the surrounding town – including a large majority of the shops and pubs, all seemed to be closed on Wednesdays.
We had a consolidatory drink at a local pub and a steak dinner before heading back and having drinks in the garden instead. Luckily I can take my work with me as one day I had to work from the garden for a few hours, and another day I had to balance my laptop on my knees in the car to get an article done in time!
The one success we did have when we ventured outside of Aberdeen was our short trip to Stonehaven. Well, I say success – we go there, and to be fair it was quite lovely, but the sun disappeared as soon as we arrived. Both of us were wearing jeans, t-shirts and flip-flops (we had been basking in glorious sunshine in Aberdeen) and not only were we feeling the cold, but the locals looked at us as if we were a pair of complete nutters!
We strolled around the picturesque harbour of Stonehaven, it’s green backdrop in stark contrast to the brick houses and blue waters of the ocean.
A simple fishing village harbour, the face of it much unchanged in many years – places like this make it quite easy to imagine life before modern technology. Only the addition of cars to remind you that you haven’t stepped back in time.
You can easily imagine similar views years and years ago…
We stopped for a beer and snacks in a pub overlooking the harbour, then headed up the road to visit Dunnotar Castle
the crumbling ruins perched on a clifftop, towering over the blue crashing waves ont he stoney beach below.
We got fish & chips for dinner before heading back, and yeah, you guessed, got a bit too drunk on the ol’ whiskey again. Go figure. But like I said, it was fun, and a welcome change of scene from West Sussex. Unfortunately, the Isle of Skye will have to wait!
So much can change in a year – I love getting the chance to be reunited with friends I’ve made on my travels!