Another WiFi tip in Aberdeen

Besides these other places, if you’re looking for free WiFi hotspots in Aberdeen you can also try the St. Nicholas area.

In St.Nicholas Square (where there’s M&S and Starbucks) you sometimes can connect to the Free WiFi Aberdeen network provided by the city. (Try the Bratwurst from the kiosk while you’re there!)

Also, if you have a macabre turn of mind, you can find a few free-for-all WiFi networks in the St. Nicholas Kirkyard on the Union Street side. Actually, the Kirkyard (churchyard) is lovely… just be careful of the (bloody) seagulls if you happen to have a sandwich.

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[True Story] Braveheart(s) in Aberdeen

I’m writing this outside in city centre close to this statue (yes, its William Wallace, aka Braveheart).

Two backpackers stopped at the base of the statue and decided to be cool and climb up to the top of it. It’s a not a very easy climb, and its even harder to climb down quickly. Which is were the entrepreneurial spirit of Scottish people comes in. As soon as they reach the top, some guy rushed around the statue, grabbed a digital camera from one of the bags, and sprinted off, leaving the guys stranded on top of the statue.

It’s horrible to make fun of other people’s misfortunes I know, but what the hell, you gotta look for silver linings wherever you find them and on paper, I’m going to hell anyway. (Heard they have great parties and its surely warmer than up here.)

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(More) Free Wifi Aberdeen

Besides here and here, Aberdeen also offers free wifi services in these locations:

  • Kilau cafe in Little Belmont street offers wifi to customers.
  • You also get free wifi (sometimes) in St. Nicholas square close to the Umbrella Kiosk. Just connect to “Free WiFi Aberdeen” (fair use)

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Aberdeen Free WiFi

An addition to the previous list of free WiFi hotspots in Aberdeen.

  • You can get free WiFi access at the Central Library… ask reception for details
  • Free Internet access is also provided by the city in the area outside the theatre… just connect to the “Free WiFi Aberdeen” network (fair use).
Enjoy.

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Hazlehead Park and… Maze!

Made it to the center of the maze!If you feel like a bit of a something different do to in Aberdeen, take a walk up to Hazlehead park when the weather is decent. The park itself is quite lovely, full off little nooks and crannies brimming with flowers (in Springtime) and lots of beautiful old trees to admire.

More excitingly though is the Maze! Yes a real honest to God maze à la Harry Potter’s in the Goblet of Fire. There are various entrances to it and going with a small group of friends would make for an interesting afternoon. It’s surprisingly tricky to get to the center and then… just as irritatingly hard to get back out! 

And no, you don’t get to see and Sphinxes asking you silly riddles along the way… :-)

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The Cairngorms, Ballater and the huge Scotch cows.

“Welcome to the Highlands” says the sign on the motorway as we whizzed in a no-so-cheap bus from Aberdeen to Ballater, a tiny Scottish town village right at the Eastern edge of The Cairngorms

Ballater is tiny. The river Dee passes through it, well next to it. It’s not big enough to populate both sides of the river. There’s a pub, a coffee shop and a baker. The station restaurant is roomy and airy but they won’t sell you coffee unless you buy food and they won’t let you use the bathroom unless you buy coffee. That’s right, a pee will cost you around £5. Other places are more lenient, but they do stop serving food at 2pm.

The tourist office in Ballater is rather large and well-equipped with maps, souvenirs and smiling staff. A map of the area, describing suggested walking routes costs £1 (recommended). Between May and September you can use Ballater as a jumping-off point for the rest of the Cairngorms park using the Heather Hopper bus service.

As you walk around the Ballater countryside is should be easy to see rabbits, tons of birds (no bird-bumping possible here though), possibly a weasel or two, and most definitely lots of huge highland cows!

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Old Aberdeen: St Machar Cathedral and Seaton Park

Whether it’s to attend a religious service or simply to tourist around, St. Machar Cathedral in Old Aberdeen is definitely worth a visit.

St. Machar CathedralAs cathedrals go its nothing like the grand edifices you find in the rest of Europe. Comparatively tiny (even smaller than St. Sulpice in Paris) and rather bleak-looking, St. Machar is located in the quaint area of Old Aberdeen which is nowadays mostly dominated by the University of Aberdeen buildings. In typical Aberdonian fashion it is surrounded by an ages old cemetery, filled with mossy and occasionally broken headstones. Legend has it that the place of worship was originally founded in 580 AD by, surprise surprise, one named Machar. Either way the current building dates back to 1350 and the aura both in and outside the building makes this self-evident.

Suggested Route

Start by entering the cathedral through the main gate (ehm, well, there’s only one, so not an option really) and take a few minutes to enjoy the calm cool interior. After a brief walk around sit down on one of the benches and drink in the unique wooden Renaissance ceiling, somehow preserved in perfect condition through the intervening centuries.

When you feel the urge to move about, go back out and turn left so that you can make a brief walking tour of the cemetery. This will bring you to the back of the church which overlooks Seaton Park. If its a nice day (i.e. not blizzarding) walk down the hill to the park where you can go right up to The Don, one of Aberdeen’s two rivers.

Feel free to walk back.

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