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Fifty Shades of Grey in Aberdeen

On the flight to Aberdeen, a passenger said to me: “Aberdeen is a special city. Everything is grey. The whole city. I bet you’ve never seen so much grey at one place in your life!”

Ha. Well, he didn’t know that I grow up in an industrial area in Germany, the “Ruhrgebiet”, a place which was dominated by the coal and steel industry for a long time and which isn’t very famous for its beauty. I basically grew up between the rests of a dying industry – so I thought, Aberdeen couldn’t shock me.

Aberdeen: The Silver City

As it turned out, our passenger was right: Everything in Aberdeen is grey. Even the sky was grey. But although I’m more the sunshine type of gal and I get seriously depressed when the temperature falls under 20 degrees, it didn’t bother me at all.

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Turns out, all the buildings are grey, because they are build from granite – a very expensive construction material, but typically found in the area around Aberdeen.

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Crazy thing: If you really, really look closely to the facades and if you’re lucky to catch a ray of sunlight coming through the thick clouds you can see tiny silver particles sparkling in the facades! I never liked grey so much 🙂

Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to explore the whole city. Or the surroundings. From Aberdeen, you can easily visit some Scottish castles, like the famous Balmoral castle! Anyway, here are my very personal tips for spending a few hours in Aberdeen:

The Maritime Museum

Due to its location and living largely off the oil industry, it’s no wonder that Aberdeen has a maritime museum. Must-see for all fans of fishy stuff.

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The graveyard at the Saint Nicholas Church on Union Street

Okay, usually not a big fan of graveyards. Kind of creep me out. But this one here left an impression on me, because the green moss on the super-old graves were the only colorful thing around. Kind of a happy place in between all the grey-ness. Located on Union Street, not very big, so if you are around for shopping, stop by.

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Shopping

My all-time favorite tip for all British locations! (And whoever once got lost in the food court of a Marks and Spencer knows what I mean!) On Union Street, you will find all the classics – and what I personally as a dwarf-sized person love most about British brands is that most of them have a special petite section! So no more cutting trousers! Yay. And for all Jamie Oliver fans: this.

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Tea time!

Tea, scones, jam and clotted cream: it’s sweet, it’s fat, it’s awesome!

Tea with scones

More on British tea time at the Britblog: http://britlog.at/wordpress/die-briten-und-ihr-tee/ (in German)

Have you ever been to Aberdeen?

Any suggestions for my next Aberdeen visit? Feel free to share your Aberdeen and/or Scotland tips in the comment section!

(And if there are Berliners around: Where can I find a real British tea time with scones and finger sandwiches in Berlin? Got a huge craving while writing this post 🙂 )

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14 Comments

  • It's a really cool look and Aberdeen definitely goes on my list, but I'm still very glad Hamburg doesn't have a majority of grey buildings to fit the skies, that would be very depressing on the long haul... xx
  • Crazy - it's like stepping into a black and white portrait almost! Looks like it would be a pretty unique experience actually. Especially if you do have a thing for graveyard tourism, which we admittedly do :D! So would love to get to union street. Thanks for the great feature!
  • That's so cool that the buildings are made of granite, would love to see the sparkles when it's truly sunny!
  • I've never heard much about Aberdeen before this but it sounds like a really interesting place. It's monochromatism makes it even more interesting.
  • I never would have thought that gray could be so appealing! This is definitely on my list of places to go now.
  • Lesley
    I thought I wouldn't have liked the grey but it's calming. I'd like it for a visit but not to live.
  • Love the gothic architecture! Grey kinda suits it all! But the green moss on the graveyards does make it look colourful and even pretty.
  • The tea, scones, and clotted cream just made my heart skip a beat (and mouth water)! Even with all the gray buildings, Aberdeen still looks inviting. Old graveyards are always so interesting. It reminds me of one that lives in my mind from Stratford-Upon-Avon.
  • Wow, it is a grey city, but I love grey so I think I would love exploring here :) Looks like a gorgeous town! The tea time looks lovely--makes me want to go to one again soon!
  • Definitely a world of grey! This would be an awesome place to photograph! Thanks for showing it to me!
  • It really is all grey! I think I would find it a bit depressing. I spent time in Edinburgh and the Scottish highlands. Although the sun wasn't always shining, it did seem a lot less grey.
  • Aberdeen looks so pretty even with the weather. It seems like a great place just to wander around and see what you can find.
  • Oh I always wanted to go to Aberdeen! It just looks so incredibly pretty :) Love, Kerstin http://www.missgetaway.com/

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