33. Aberdeen, Day Two: New Friends, Good Food, A Posh Ferry, Happy Birthday To Me

Happy Birthday to Meeeeeee! I don’t have a diseeeeeeeeeeeease!

Thought it would be the neighborly thing to do, to make sure I don’t have cooties before getting on an enclosed floating thing for 14 hours.

At 9 AM on the nose, I am at the Northlink Ferry terminal to drop off my backpack, so I can be unburdened for my further adventures of the day.

Strolling back out of the terminal area. Aberdeen is a very grey city.
I dropped in to a Boots to get anti-seasick medicine, although it turned out I never needed it. A little bit of the USA in the mall. Later, I would see folks taking boxes of Krispy Kremes on the ferry. Folks going home to Shetland, with this sweet gift for their kidlets.
I didn’t take nearly enough photos of the public art in Aberdeen. I loved this one, Lego bricks filling in some gaps in an old brick wall.
I did really like the closed off street (except for buses).
A kirkyard park at St. Nicholas.
“Mither Kirk” has fallen into serious disrepair, and there are few funds to restore it.
The kirkyard is magically gothic.
His Majesty’s Theatre

The big plan of the day was to meet up with my friend Lori’s good friend Ally at a vegan restaurant, Bonobo. I was very excited to meet Ally and her partner Mike, and it turned out we hit it off just fine! And Bobobo is a fabulous place to eat!

Really wonderful outdoor seating!

After food, we took off in their little car and went to a neighborhood I had heard was worth visiting, Footdee — pronounced “Fittie.” It is an old fishing village within the city, right on the water. It was charming as could be! I was so surprised, as I didn’t really read very much about it at all. Tiny, funky houses with all manner of decorations inside and out! I would have loved to explore each and every one. Embiggen these photos for detail!

Me and Ally!
Adorable digs.
Most of the windows sported unusual art and tchotchkes.
A very inviting yellow door.
A fine design on the stonework.
Most of the houses had lovey tiny gardens.
There were clothes out on the lines all over Footdee. Lots of benches for sitting as well.
I could weep from the cuteness!!
Row of houses and Mike.
Mike and Ally and a very tiny house.
I was REALLY curious about the goings-on here!

After our wanderings, they drove me to the terminal at 3 PM to board the ferry Hjaltland, which was leaving at 5:30 PM.

The gangway from terminal to ferry.
Yes. I said “thataway.”
The business end of the ferry.
My berth! Cozy and quite posh! And surprisingly comfy beds.
My very own head.

The decor of the ferry feels a little dated, but there was nothing shabby about it! Everything was spanking clean and in order.

Fancy lobby.
The fancy bar us plebes couldn’t go to. At least not without an Executive berth. Just a tad rich for my blood.
Movie theatre! I didn’t go, I was enjoying being in my room too much.
Looking out on Aberdeen shortly before launch.
Puffing past some industry.
Here we go!
On the upper decks outside. It was definitely chilly, but how could one not?
Footdee from the ferry. Can’t see all the tiny houses within.
What a glorious sight! I’d be in Shetland in one sleep!
Stormy skies and mighty turbines.
I really enjoyed this cup of tea!
This was a very, very good meal. V trad all the way, right down to the beer!
And soon, goodnight! When I awoke, Shetland would be in sight. Forecast was for clear sailing, but the North Sea is always rolling.

Aberdeen to Lerwick is 216 miles, and the voyage takes about 14 hours, with a stop-off around midnight at Kirkwall, Orkney. I figured I’d be awake by 6 AM to see the ship coming into Lerwick, especially since it never really got completely dark out the entire journey. Summer in the North!

29 May, 2022


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