Nessie & New Year

On my way back from a year working in the Middle East, I made a detour to Scotland. My main motives were to visit my birthplace in Aberdeen and to celebrate New Year’s Eve the famous Scottish way – Hogmanay. During the two week circumnavigation, I was able to achieve both of these and check out a bunch of other Scottish RAS.

I flew out of Israel on Christmas Day after attending midnight mass in Bethlehem, and flew into a dreary London, then headed straight up to Scotland to see where it all began (for me) – Forrester Hill Hospital in Aberdeen. Aberdeen is nicknamed the “granite city” for good reason – there’s granite everywhere. Which makes it a pretty dull grey place when it’s overcast. But my dad’s work at the time led my parents here when they were newlyweds. We made a quick visit to my parents’ former neighbours who still live in the same house four decades later!

Next stop was the history-drenched city of Edinburgh. We had tickets to the famous Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) street party. Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate at all, and the cyclonic winds combined with sub-zero temperatures confined this little Aussie to the hotel room instead. It just meant more exploring the following day with less of a hangover. And it made participation in the annual New Year’s Day fun run a less painful experience. The fun run starts on the castle rampart when the 1 o’clock canon fires.


We missed out on Arbroath smokies. The Scots have two public holidays to recover from Hogmanay, so all the fish shops were shut. But we did get to sample plenty of scotch whiskey in our travels out into the countryside.


Making a (traditional Finnish) offering of vodka to Nessie and Loch Ness. She didn’t show…so she obviously like scotch more…

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