September 14, 2016
Today we are leaving Aberdeen and going to Inverness. But first…
A side trip to Footdee. It’s an old fishing village at the edge of the harbour. The locals call it “Fittie”.
We ended up catching just the right bus as we were walking down the street. When I told the bus driver that we wanted to go to Footdee he looked at me like I had a second nose on my forehead. Not sure it was the language or that we wanted to go there. Oh well, we got our bus tickets and took our seats and set forth.
The wind was blowing and the ocean was throwing waves upon the shore. Not a lot of people about!
We took in the entrance to the port and the number of tankers waiting to enter the harbour.
Fittie’s claim to fame is that it was a planned housing development in 1809 to re-house Aberdeen’s local fishing community that was displaced as the harbour was built up. It was rudimentary thatched houses that became tenement housing as it grew.
By the later 1800’s the town started selling the houses and dwellings to occupiers. That resulted in additions being made. It is now a bit of a mishmash within very delineated walls, and lots of freedom of expression!
These are tiny houses by-and-by. Many of them have wee yards and windows and doors that are quaint, cute and very different.
This place had a moose crossing, wash line and buddha all together!
After our stroll through we headed back towards the bus stop, thinking we would have to make the 1/2 walk back up the hill, but we noticed a couple of older ladies waiting at the bus stop. Now the Scottish people we have met have been wonderful, but it doesn’t seem like they choose to wait for anything. I figured the bus was coming soon. Turns out we timed it just right and caught the bus back!
Aberdeen has a big box store mall down near the beach along with a boardwalk amusement area that was pretty much shut up on this grey windy Wednesday.
Back to the flat, get our packed bags, say goodbye to our host and head to the train station. Hauling our bags is much easier when you are leaving, because you have totally figured out where you are going
Train is on time, but no WiFi, so we watched the rolling hills fly by.
We chatted with various people on the train and they all were so pleasant and helpful. One lady asked about travelling across Canada, in a motorhome, perhaps in the winter so they could ski with their kids. We counselled her against a winter trip in a motorhome across the mountain passes and prairies.
Almost every little train station had one of these planters :
Without fail, when we mention that we are going to Skye, the Scotsperson we are talking to tilts their head to the side, gets a happy wishful look in their eyes and sighs “ahhh, right.. Skye.. so wonderful” and they smile.
We arrive in Aberdeen and have to get some directions to get us to the right place. Of course there are stairs (did I mention too much stuff before?), but we found a way with no stairs but a long incline. Easier with the bags!
We arrive out our LOVELY B&B and get ourselves sorted out. On a recommendation from our hosts we stop at the Castle Tavern for a bite to eat. The food was okay, but the line-ups big, and we luckily scored a little table in the pub area.
As we were finishing our drinks, suddenly David gets this very surprised look on his face and goes “Whhaaaattt?” Standing in the very pub we are in is one of his hockey buddies. Turns out there is a group of them in the upstairs restaurant. 6700 km away and we find people from our own little town! What are the chances?!?
Well of course this means we have to go have drinks with them. SO David and I head out to spearhead the procurement of a table big enough for 14 of us. The first choice ‘Hootenanny Pub’ is full. But we find a lovely place called The Black Isle Pub.
We get a big table that is 1/2 empty and start taking seats. The group joins us soon after and pretty soon we are all sharing travel tales and drinks!
They had plans for the next day and as much as golfing with the guys was enticing David, he was good with our plans. We had a great time and parted ways! I hope they have a really good trip as well!!
It was misty and the moon was peeking in and out of clouds. We found our way back to the B&B and collapsed for the night. Tired but happy.