Locked in time on North Sea’s Shores.

My first day in Aberdeen wasn’t that grand from a photographic perspective, but it offered me the opportunity to really see the Granite city and its folk bars (and yes, if you want to get to know the people of a place, go an check out the pubs and bars, lots of stories to hear and interesting things to see).

One place I would definitely recommend for the atmosphere and their good selection of beer & food , is Old Blackfriars pub, it felt like home, cosy & warm. Food Aberdeen.png

After my stop at the Old Blackfriar Pub, I go straight to the guest house to catch a few hours of good sleep and also decide on day 4s trip.

Luckily for me, my host was still around & after a few minutes of talking, I found out that the next day will be sunny and no rain was announced, so I decided to extend my stay for another day and go visit the ruins of Dunnottar Castle, a 13th century old castle built on a steep cliff (1st recording of settlements in the area go back to the 5th century).

Day 4 starts with a small walk close to the city port to catch a bus to Stonehaven, the closest town to Dunnotar Castle (~30min from the bus station).

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One hour later I find myself in Stonehaven, a very picturesque town south of Aberdeen, on the shores of the North Sea and entrenched between rivers Cowie and Carron with a interesting history.

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Had to take small break to take some abstract photos…

IMG_1189IMG_1221IMG_1246…and a selfie :)) before continuing the road to Dunnottar.

 

 

 

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Lost or how I ended up in Aberdeen

Day 3 of my travel through Scotland starts at Glasgow Central Station with me buying a train ticket for Fort William and waiting forward to the best scenic route ever (dunno… that’s what everyone was describing it).

My plan was simple, get as North as possible by public transportation, starting point being Glasgow. My planned route was Fort William (for Ben Nevis & Glencoe) – Fort Augustus (to properly see Nessie 🙂 ) – Inverness  – Wick – John O’Groats (weather permitting, a boat trip to the nearest island) then back to Glasgow. In case the weather would have turned way to nasty for my liking, then the trip would be detoured and after Inverness, my next stops would’ve been Aberdeen – Stirling – Edinburgh and back to the airport to catch my flight back home.I somehow manage to miss both train and buss…so the plan was kind of ruined / messed up. You might ask, how did I manage to lose them? quite simple actually, train was leaving from Queens Station while I was waiting in Central (fun fact: I  actually missed it by a whisker, got there 5 minutes after it departed). As for the bus…well let’s just say that I was incapable of finding the bus station :))

Now my next connections were at around 5-6h distance, I needed to make a quick decision, do I lose time in Glasgow or do I jump in a train to a random destination? I was getting short on time (4 more days to go)…long story short I swapped my ticket to Fort William for one to Aberdeen and decided to get something to eat. IMG_0602.JPG

2 pints & a breakfast later, I was on the train heading to Aberdeen and desperately checking Booking for a place to stay, because who plans ahead?! apparently not me…

After a 2h search of all the places in and around Aberdeen that didn’t require a prepayment, I found Applewood Guest House, contacted the host, Carol, (the sweetest lady I had the opportunity of meeting), and booked a room for a day.

The almost 4h long trip to Aberdeen was uneventful, with a gloomy weather & the occasional rain showers, however when I got there, in the city, I caught the last rays of the most amazing sun set ever. All I can say is that I took my time and really enjoyed my walk through the city. 

I arrive 30-40min after the sunset at the guest house, were I was warmly welcomed by Carol, who already had a map ready with the most important things to see in and around the city and of course the most vital of all info, where I can go and take a bite. Without wasting much time, I settle myself in, grab the camera and hit the streets of Aberdeen. IMG_1042.JPGIMG_1069.JPG

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The one thing that will immediately stand out is heavy usage of granite; most of the city’s buildings are built using it (in general the Scottish cities & towns use sand stone), a Victorian age architecture influence, from what I understood. The interesting part of this granite, is that it makes the city shine, literally giving it a silver-like appearance.

Day 4 will find me in Stonehaven for a visit at Dunnottar Castle (well actually it’s ruins) more about that in the next post

 

 

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Rocks of Dùn Èideann Edinburgh

Day 2 of my Scottish adventure finds me in a train to Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland since the 15th century & the second most visited city in the UK.

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Once you step inside the city you will easily understand why it’s on the World Heritage Site lists. Its blend between the Old and the New, literally makes you want to stop at every corner to gawk at the buildings and nothing really feels out of place (hmm maybe the hotel that “welcomes” you as you exit the train station)

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Seeing that there wasn’t much chance of a clear sky (yeah, the weather wasn’t really on my side), and that we were short on time, we decided to see the Old Town and make our way to Edinburgh Castle. I could have spent hours (!!!) to just look at buildings.

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Edinburgh Castle’s enormous! the sight from the castle fantastic and one can only imagine how it would look in proper light conditions. Judging from the constant flux of people going in and out, told me that I would definitely need to come back for a proper visit. Now that Castle Rock was photographed and crossed from the list, it was time to find a nice coffee shop to warm up a bit before we started the hike on Arthur’s Seat.

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With the coffee down and all warmed up, we start the trek to Arthur’s Seat with a small stop in front of the Parliament.

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All soaked and chilled to bone by the cold wind, we start the descent to grab a bite and to finally catch our ride back to Glasgow. Final stop before catching the train, Whiski Bar & Restaurant. The food was good (yes, I had haggis and I love it) and the whisky GODLY. Also a kind reminder 😀

 

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Fàilte gu Alba / Welcome to Scotland

I’ll start by saying that 2016 was definitely a turning point for me from a lot of points of view, some bad and some good.

Probably the best thing that happened in 2016 was my trip to Scotland, a country that I’ve been dreaming to visit ever since I saw The Highlander & Braveheart back in the late 90s – early 2000s and yes, I know that the historical facts don’t really match and such but the landscapes I saw remain(ed) in my mind to this day.

Long story short, knowing that I have a friend who moved to Glasgow (lucky me right?!) & was willing to have me as a guest for a few days, I decided to jump on plane and go for a visit.

Mid November & Scotland

I arrive in Glasgow at around 9PM on Nov 11th, a rainy day but a lot warmer than back home. The recommendations I got from everybody were, skip the bus & jump in a cab. Luckily enough Uber is still working in Scotland & UK in general so needless to say, I called one and to got my friends place, where I slept like a log till the next day.

Next day was a day reserved to Glasgow and it’s people (my photographer senses were starting to tingle). My day started with a visit to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum.

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All I can say is that this museum had it all, from prehistorical tools to modern art.

Kelvingrove From the very interesting Kelvingrove, we went for a stroll in the very beauty park outside of the museum, with a stop for a few pictures at Lord Roberts Monument and then off we went through the fancy neighborhood at Park Terrace Lane to the city center.Glasgow walk

After a long walk we end up on St Enoch square were we stopped for a good cup of coffee and saw the Christmas market being setup. We then turned on Argyle street to…well basically visit some of the stores there because why not & to my surprise **boom** out of the blue, I hear bagpipes & drums! It was the Clanadonia band who took the streets of Glasgow for a recital.

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After staying a while and listening to some good music (& also supporting the local musicians), I notice that the overcast sky was brightening and golden hour was almost here so I had to take a few snaps while making my way to the Necropolis via High Street20161112-IMG_0354

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Right with the last few sun rays, we arrived at the Necropolis, where we went to a vantage point to see more of the city and surroundings but to also rest.

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With our batteries somewhat recharged, we decided it’s time to call it a day and head of for a well deserved dinner and pint or two, so our last stop that day was at Drygate Brewing Co.  (I do have some pictures, don’t quite remember where I put them, hmmm…)

LE: found it

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Day 1 ends back home with a glass of wine, a marshmallow cupcake & the days book catch

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Day 2 we will head to the fascinating city of Edinburgh but all that in the next post.

 

 

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the same old new stuff

I’m back again & apparently with a weird mood to get some stuff written down so…let’s get down and “dirty”:

Time has a very interesting way of showing that things change & that we’re all subjects to change…

Well to continue my idea now: I always seem to find myself blocked/locked in the same ol’ stuff after a while & as any normal human being (yes I like lying to myself that I’m normal) I look forward to a change.

So the question is…whats ’round that corner?

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Kendo

After more than a year i’m back here writing my head off.

What made me decide to come back?!?God knows… But whats important is fact that I now have something important write about.

After an almost 2 year absence I’m back at Kendo practice.I’m well aware that’s gonna be hell on earth but nothing’s will keep me away from it again.

Now trying to find a strong kiai(気合) & with the sword clenched in my hands I wait for the right moment to strike.

(yeah I know it’s not me but soon…very soon it will be)

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Alright

Well another year started…*getting older by the minute*…
Funny how i make the same mistakes all over again thus proving to myself that i still don’t know what’s good for me…*I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever do*…the bright side  is that I’m feeling alright

………………….
And I feel alright
The way you look at me
Your silence sets me free

sets me free

Urma – Alright

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