We dragged the children out of the house against their will and walked to Torry Battery today, an artillery battery that was used as a defensible barracks for Aberdeen from 1860. It is now a ruin but a nice place to spot birds and dolphins in Aberdeen harbour. I think the kids are enjoying quarantine a bit too much so it was time to make them suffer a bit. The walk there and back was just under 8km.
Starting from Duthie Park, the first part of the walk goes over the very wonderful Wellington Suspension Bridge that spans the River Dee, built for £10,000 in 1830. It was closed to motor vehicles in 1984 and is now open to pedestrians and cyclists only. I think this is partly why it’s so nice.
The next part of the walk goes through a very industrial part next to Aberdeen Harbour that is used by the oil industry. It is truly an eye-sore. It amazes me that the oil industry was allowed to create such a blight on the city. There used to be an 18th-century fishing village here which was tragically demolished in the 1970s for use by the oil industry.
Here’s how it looks now.
I wonder what these red containers are in this next photo?
Once we passed this industrial bit it started to get nice. That’s Footdee, an historic fishing village which managed to survive, on the other side of the harbour in this next photo.
It’s hard to see in this next photo but there are oil tankers and wind turbines on the horizon. The future and the past side by side.
There’s a little sandy beach with rocks, shells, and lots of seaweed to entertain young children along with some bracing, fresh air for invigorating the lungs. They haven’t closed the beaches in Aberdeen unlike in other parts of the world, probably because the water is cold and unlikely to attract hoards of people. Indeed we saw very few people while we were there. But we did see dolphins leaping in the air just past the end of the pier near Footdee. I didn’t get a photo so you’ll just have to take my word for it but Aberdeen harbour is a feeding ground for a pod of bottlenose dolphins.
Here is the entrance to the battery.
On the homeward journey, we decided to walk along Victoria Road to avoid the industrial harbour bit. It was much nicer with some lovely granite terraced homes. We also walked past Victoria Road school, an old Victorian building that closed in 2008. I believe there are plans to develop it into residential housing. I do like these old granite school buildings. It’s a shame it’s no longer a school but I’m pleased they’re not going to tear it down.
We also saw some seagulls mating on the roof of a house. Four seagulls in fact. It was a seagull orgy and lifted Daniel’s spirits just enough to silence the neverending, “How much longer till we get home?” questions.