Usually when we can't get offshore because of the weather, we get ferried out to the airport and sit around for a great lump of the day waiting for our helicopter but this weekend the delay was such that they didn't send for us at all and we had the day to ourselves. As far as I'm concerned, this is an ideal chance for a bit scout about the city to see what I could see. Apart from the fact the city is covered in snow, the first thing I noticed that was new to me was this festive leopard that has found it's way into Aberdeen's Christmas decorations. If anyone out there knows where the leopard appears in the Christmas story or anyone elses Christmas traditions, it would be good to know, otherwise, I'm just logging this as odd.
I decided that a wee walk to St Machar's cathedral sounded like a good idea. It's quite a way but it does take you past the university where they have a pair of weather vanes which can't seem to agree with each other.
Built in the late 15th century Kings College chapel has one of only two open crown spires in Scotland. For all it said it was open, I couldn't find a particularly inviting way in, so there are no pictures of the apparently superb collection of midieval wood carving.
I think most students would be quite happy to fork out the 2 and 6 for a sly puff in the quadrangle or a walk across the grass. Even 10 shillings doesn't seem too much for a particularly good bit of graffitti.
A fancy old gate
The bank in the Old Aberdeen High Street looks a little friendlier than the usual. Perhaps the manager invites you in and offers you a wee dram, "Sit down Sir, yes here besides the fire. Have some money - just pay it back when you can."
The police station is none too intimadating either
A late medieval mercat cross
A snowy Old Aberdeen street (old Aberdeen was actually a separate burgh from Aberdeen until 1891)
The old town house, built in 1789 was where the burghs local government was housed. Nowadays you can go in for a look, so, naturally, I did.
There's not that much to see inside as it's main purpose appears to be a place to hold meetings or talks rather than as a museum. Upstairs there's a meeting room which when I was there was very dark, surrounded by dark portraits - actually when I took a picture with the flash the pictures turned out not to be so dark after all. here's a couple of portraits of two bishops from around 1500 (the bishops not the paintings which seem to be a good bit later). Interesting though that both bishops appear to be wearing the same mitres and the staffs are undoubtable the same one.
The gates of the Cruikshank Botanic gardens (part of the university I think). In this weather, one botanic wonder looks very like another so without any further photos from there, onwards.
At last, I have arrived at St Machar's cathedral.Big, impossing and really rather plain from the outside and closed due to the weather !!!!
A rather nice celtic cross type gravestone.
I may not have managed to get into the cathedral but there's been a church here since 1370 and over the years some churches change shape dramatically. What you see here was once inside, it's part of the pre-reformation crossing and trancept .
By the time I got back into Aberdeen it was dark and the festive leopard was all lit up - lovely!