Aberdeen, A’m Gled Tae Meet Ye

The Granite City

After a quick trip to Aberdeen, I’m ready to go back!  It’s cool in a quirkly little way, and is nicknamed the “Granite City” for its ubiquitous gray buildings erected with stone from its quarry. The quarry was open for over 200 years and provided granite not only for Aberdeen, but for important buildings across Scotland and England.  Perched on the North Sea coast, Aberdeen has been a maritime hub for ages, and now is a major oil and gas center.

Color and Culture Abound in this Authentic City

With its concentration of gray granite buildings and overcast, misty skies, Aberdeen could seem dull and monochromatic, but the spirit of the people provide tons of color, both literally and figuratively.  There are flowers everywhere; Aberdeen has won the “Britain in Bloom” community gardening competition ten times since its inception in 1964, and it shows. And the colorful culture is evident in a plethora of public parks, museums, statues, festivals and live music in concert halls and barrooms. And here’s a statistic that is close to my heart: a study in The Scotsman found Aberdeen to have the lowest number of fast food joints per capita in the ten major Scottish cities reviewed.  In other words, Aberdeen is authentic.

It’s Doric, Not Gaelic

The local dialect is known as Doric, and if you’re lucky, you’ll hear a few words from an Aberdonian, or see signs that use the dialect. Some of the words are easily recognizable to English speakers.

image courtesy of Scotsmagazine.com

So, in authentic Aberdonian Doric:

Aberdeen, a’m gled tae meet ye!

Digital Postcards

Here are a few picture postcards of my day and a half in Aberdeen.

Statues and public art installations are everywhere; so are the flowers
An elusive blue sky highlights the beautiful old architecture and gray granite
Statue commemorating the Gordon Highlanders
Buildings in Castlegate Square; see the tiny unicorn atop the Mercat (Market) cross? 
Green spaces and public art abound
Flower baskets are everywhere
More flowers
One of 11 anchors across Aberdeen is located at Aberdeen Beach; it will eventually be auctioned off to raise money for a world-class cancer research center in Aberdeen
Gorgeous view of the evening sky from Aberdeen Beach
The crude oil holding tanks in the middle of the photo speak to Aberdeen’s place in oil and gas

For another look at the Aberdeen night sky and the phenomenon called “nautical twilight”, click here.


Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook


3 thoughts on “Aberdeen, A’m Gled Tae Meet Ye

  1. Awesome comment, John! You inspired me to read up on “Rabbie” Burns and remind myself of his influence on romantic poetry and status as a literary hero in Scotland and beyond.

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