Friday, 24 August 2007

Day 13 - Aberdeen

I left Edinburgh on a surprisingly fine and sunny day, and the sun smiled at me all the way to Aberdeen. There, it became just a milky round spot behind the clouds.

Aberdeen is famous for being grey, and very rightly so. The sky is grey, the buildings are grey, the streets are grey, even the sea is grey. Grey people with grey faces sit on the grey street, hold out a grey hand and, in a grey voice, ask you for money.

Of the few things that aren't grey, the huge ships in the harbor are certainly the most colourful, in their bright reds, oranges, yellows and blues. They're all related in some way to the oil industry, I believe, as all wear the badge of Shell or some other petroleum company. I couldn't say what their exact purpose is, but they seemed very busy at the docks, loading and unloading unidentifiable stuff.

I found my hostel at once, though it was a 25 min walk from the centre, and went out looking for a Tesco or similar provider of nourriture, with little success. It was 7pm and the town was dead as a grey corpse. I bought some expensive bread and cheese from the only open place, a 24h convenience store, and took a long walk around the centre.

I noticed in surprise, and not an unpleasant one, how many churches and monasteries are no longer used for their original purposes, but are now pubs. Pubs, funky restaurants and clubs. I had already noticed this most curious process of "dechurchification" and ongoing "pubification" in Scotland, but nowhere as much as in Aberdeen. I wonder how it happens. I'd love to see it replicated elsewhere.

After sunset, it became really cold and windy, really quick, so I hurried back and called it a day. I left the following morning without looking back.

1 comment:

Yiyi said...

Yo tambien quisiera ver esas reformas en pubs elsewhere near home...

Espero que te tomaras una nuestra honra!