A recipe of blurbs by a hungry dad-filled with sarcasm, truth, and a dash of that rare ingredient, common sense.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Worldly Wednesdays – Scotland

Well if you have been following my blog, you have been reading my series in my worldly travels where I get to travel on someone else’s dime (which is usually my employers) to nice places all over the globe. And if you are new to my blog then you need to go back and read my other posts from this series. Last time I told you I would take you to a European destination and I am not going to disappoint you.

Back in March of 2006 my work asked me to go to Aberdeen, Scotland on a month long business trip. And well honestly I could not say no to going to the land of some of my ancestors (I am like a quarter Scottish roots but a mutt for all practical purposes). So I packed up head for the airport for the long 10 hour flight across the pond.

Kings College
 
I had a long flight from Houston to Amsterdam as there is no direct flight to Aberdeen from the US. I got to the airport in Amsterdam and had to check in for my flight to Aberdeen as it was a different airline for the second leg of my trip. After waiting 2.5 hours in a long ass line to get my boarding pass, I get to the front of the line only to be told that my seat on my connecting flight was in first class, and I could have used the no waiting first class line (my life is full of stories like this as this shit only happens to me). So I ran, yes RAN to the gate and was the last person to get on the plane. After a short flight from Amsterdam to Aberdeen, I was finally on the ground in the land of my forefathers. It was cold, no not just cold but FUCKING cold (yes I said the same thing about Canada). As the only non-Brit on the flight I breezed right through customs and immigration much to the disgust of the Brits who were cussing me while I walked by in my Pittsburgh Steelers jacket.

A Really Old Cemetery

I would have to say that on all of my travels that I have gone on, the hotel I had when in Scotland was the best. I had a proper living room with two couches, a full kitchen with a stove, oven, fridge, and huge bedroom. The bath room was a little lacking, but hey we can’t all get everything that we want can we?

My Hotel
 
Little did I know when I left on this trip that I would be working for 6 days a week for about 14 hours a day, so I did not have very much time to get actually get out and explore the country as I had wanted to. I did manage to get out on Sundays and walk around town (I didn’t rent a car because it was too confusing for me sober and as I was drunk all the time I didn’t want to chance it). The first Sunday I was there, I walked all over the place. I found the concert hall, the huge ass library, the shopping center, City Hall, and Robert Gordon University. The town is beautiful in and of itself as the entire city is grey and made of granite (the nickname of the city is the Granite City). I also managed to find some really old cemeteries and a statue of William Wallace (ie Braveheart and which I think every city in Scotland has one but I can’t blame them).

William Wallace

The weather in Aberdeen is crazy. If you have ever lived in or been to Houston then you know that the weather here is crazy, but in Aberdeen it is very strange. On morning I woke up and it was warm (well as warm as 20F can be) and the skies were clear. Within a few hours it was cloudy and snowing. 3 hours later it was clear again, and a few hours after that it was raining. When it was time to leave for the hotel at the end of the day, it was clear again and warm. The receptionist at the office told me that they have a saying there, “Aberdeen, where you get all 4 seasons in a day’s time.” And I thought Houston weather was crazy.

City Hall

The next Sunday I was off, one of my friends from the Aberdeen office who I used to work with back in Houston, took me for a drive to a castle outside of town. It was a nice castle, but it costs about $50 to go inside of it. And after learning that the castle was just someone’s home and that there was no battle fought there, I passed on the entrance fee. It was a really nice beautiful place though if you take away the high cost. My friend also took me into Old Aberdeen where there was a 1400 year old church and a 500 year old college. I was in awe of the college as it pre-dated Columbus coming to the Americas.

The Castle

During the week when I was working if I was able to get back to the hotel at a decent time, I would change and walk down to the main street in Aberdeen called Union Street for drinks and dinner. I hit up every single bar that Union Street had to offer. The best at the time was a place that was a mecca to all things Frankenstein. Another good place I found was an old church that had been converted into a bar/nightclub called “Soul”. It was really interesting considering that the DJ booth was where the pulpit would have been if it was still a church.

"Soul"

After working what seemed like an eternity, I came to my last night in Aberdeen which happened to be a Friday night. My friend from the office decided that me and him should go out for a nice meal and then to a bar for one drink. Well we ended up at a really nice Chinese place and drank a couple bottles of French wine. We then headed off to a small local bar for one drink of Scotch. Well after drinking a few glasses of Scotch I was ready to leave, but a rowdy group of Scots heard that I was American and that it was my last night in Scotland. So they decided that I would stay at the bar and they would be buying me glasses of all of the different great types of Scotch. Four hours later, I was completely fucking wasted and it was not even 2 am. Did I mention that my flight leaves at 7am and I had not packed yet? Well we left that bar with the group of Scots and headed to a strip club. Now normally I am game for a strip club, but I had to pack and get up before the sun does. Well after 3 hours in the strip club (I was disappointed because none of the women were Scottish, they were all Russian) and tons of more drinks (which I didn’t pay for) I was finally able to stumble out of the strip club and walk stumble back to my hotel room at roughly 5am. I packed my bags while drunk, and then headed to the airport. I was drunk when I checked in at the airport. I was drunk when my flight took off and then landed in Amsterdam. I was still drunk when my flight to Houston took off and I was still drunk when I got back to Houston some 14 hours later. I have never been so damn drunk in my life, but I did not puke so I guess it was a great last night in Scotland.


Union Street

Although I did not get to do the things I had wanted to do while I was there (a visit to the highlands, touring some whiskey distilleries, and a trip to Edinburgh), I did get to enjoy a little bit of another great country and get a nice stamp in my passport. If you ever get a chance to go to Europe, I would highly advise you to head to Scotland as it is very beautiful and it is has a lot of history to take in.

36 comments:

  1. Awww, you didn't post the pic of you in front of the castle! lol
    I like hearing about your travels :)

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  2. @ Miley, I am sorry. You will be ok. Apparently I think you are the minority here when it comes to hearing about my travels. These "Worldly Wednesday" posts are not very popular.

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  3. you are enjoying yourself :) just keep it up

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  4. @ Mister, thank you.

    @ Marko, thank you as well.

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  5. I concur...Canada is FUCKING cold! Well...not right now but in general she is. And while we don't have magnificent castles to tour...we do have strip clubs; fully interactive strip clubs.

    Yup...you heard right! You flip that Loonie just right, and it sticks on the little magnet attached to her thong; you get a poster/magnet/key-chain. Like a XXX carnival game.

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  6. @ Primed, thanks for stopping by. You should go back and read my Worldly Wednesday edition where I talked about Edmonton and Calgary.

    And as for the interactive strip clubs, I had one across the street from my hotel in Edmonton. Both the Loonies and twoonies were flung a couple of nights.

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  7. hey, you were in both my cities! but you didn't mention which strip clubs you went to while you were in calgary or edmonton, so i'm not sure if we met...i was the hot one ;)

    "across the street from my hotel". was it diamonds? i feature there! haha! wouldn't that be fucking weird.

    and i hope you were throwing TWOONIES lol.

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  8. @ Kage, I was in Diamonds. And yes I was throwing some TWOONIES. lol. Are you a fan of Trailer Park Boys the show and movies?

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  9. I've never been to Scotland but it sounds amazing! I'll keep that in mind for my next trip.

    Glad to see you enjoyed yourself :)

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  10. WOW looks amazing!!!!!!!!!! I need to get over my fear of flying and travel!

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  11. @ Uninspired, you should go, it is beyond nice there.

    @ Bird Shit, yes you need to get over that fear asap and go see the world.

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  12. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR?! Oilfield...I was in Aberdeen earlier this year. visiting a friend!! she's now moved to Canada but I would totally go back to Aberdeen. I loved it! Although it was cold and rainy..boo. AND we got VERY hammered at "Soul"! THE BEST BAR EXPERIENCE EVER! So fun! AND...shit..okay that explains it. I got hit on a lot there. I seem to recall 2 guys asking me to marry them actually. Oh right. Oilrigs. Right. Well..Good for you! How fun! No one ever goes to Aberdeen so it's good to see you writing about it! Fun!

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  13. @ Cinderita, what if I shut the side door?

    That is cool that you were just in Aberdeen. I loved it there as well. But it is always cold and rainy there. Which is why the buildings all look like the sky. Grey and Gloomy. Anyway, glad to see that Soul is still open 4 years after I was last there. And that is cool that you got hit on. None of the women there even looked at me, so I guess you should feel lucky you got hit on.

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  14. Love your take on Scottland as this is a place that i have always wanted to visit. Glad to hear that the locals gave you a proper drunken send-off!

    http://rantersbox.blogspot.com

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  15. I always feel lucky when I get hit on...:-)

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  16. awesome dude...i love scotch...

    so were the stippers el-buffo or g-sting? cuz the rest of the post was prolly really cool but i saw the word stripper and well, you know...where the fuck were you? russia?

    Bruce

    stupid stuff i see and hear
    and
    bruce johnson jadip

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  17. you know what, oilfield daddy? i haven't seen very much of trailer park boys. i know, that makes me a bad canadian :(

    but have you seen the show sons of butcher? it's good shit!

    tell you what. i'll look at yours, if you'll look at mine...

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  18. @ Empress, yes it was very good to get a proper send off.

    @ Cinderita, as does everyone.

    @ Bruce, I know the strippers part was distracting. And I asked the strippers the same thing, am I in Russia or Scotland.

    @ Kage, that does not make you a bad Canadian it just means you are missing out on some funny shit. And that sounds like a deal.

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  19. "It was really interesting considering that the DJ booth was where the pulpit would have been if it was still a church."

    :)..wow I have got to get me a better job. You are now myinspiration!!

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  20. Great post. I'm incredibly jealous because Scotland is on the top of my "places to visit" list. I will definately have to go now. Drinking and partying in a church...um that sounds perfect to me. haha.

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  21. It looks very impressive. These are great photos. I'm envious of your worldly travels on someone's else's dime.
    xo

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  22. I love how honest you are! It cracks me up. I LOVE history, so I know I would love a trip to Scotland. I loved your pictures! It was fun hearing about "Soul", too. Feeling jealous...

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  23. @ Toy, I am glad I could inspire someone.

    @ Jewels, the drinking in church part was weird and trippy all at the same time. Go to Scotland, trust me.

    @ Robyn, Don't be jealous. My life really sucks. No seriously. My travels and my kids are the only 2 bright things in my night sky.

    @ Kelly, all I know is how to be honest. I always say my real life is more interesting to read than fiction. And you should go to Scotland, it is a beautiful place. Trust me. And then there is the history as well.

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  24. um...are we still talking about seeing each other's tv shows? lol

    i have lots of TWOONIES, you know... ;)

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  25. @ Kage, yes I was referring to the tv shows.

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  26. oh...um...me too...

    k, i'm gonna watch trailer park boys today.

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  27. I've never been to Scotland, and I would love to, your post and pics were terrific, however, I think it's safe to say that it's way more fucking cold in Canada.

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  28. @ Sandra, I would not make it a contest. They are both too fucking cold for my tastes.

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  29. I love it... I would also love if you needed a personal assistant on these travels and for the tab to picked up by your company. I mean I can go or my daughter when I am already booked. Because honestly she would cut someone to see Scotland, while I want to see France and Italy. See it all works out.

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  30. @ Peachy, Is your daughter over 18? LOL I am just kidding.

    I doubt they would let me do that, because every where I go I want to bring home a woman and the management kind of frowns on that.

    As for France and Italy, I also want to go to both of those.

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  31. Nothing better than seeing the world on the company dime. I loved my time on the road! Never made it to Scotland though, too fucking cold for me. Sounds like a wonderful place.

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  32. @ Cajun, yes it was pretty damn cold there. And yes it is great to have someone else pick up the tab.

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  33. I like your blog post very much and I will for sure read all your previous posts. Regards from Hilton Aberdeen

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  34. @ Natalie, thanks for stopping by and I am glad that you liked this post.

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