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Aberdeen

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Went to Aberdeen on Saturday for a little day trip and thoroughly enjoyed myself!

Travelled up by bus and back by train; it takes about roughly 3 hours to get from Edinburgh to Aberdeen (the train is slightly faster, of course). Five of us went up to Aberdeen, but three went to watch roller derby, which was at the Beach Leisure Centre, and two of us went to the Codonas Amusement Park. The two places were kinda close to each other so we walked together from the station until we reached Codonas, where we split up. Took us about 20-25 minutes to walk there. It felt shorter though!

sheriff court
Uhm, Sheriff’s Court along Union Street in Aberdeen? I think la. Can’t quite remember at the moment. But that’s one elaborate clock tower…

random apartment
Random apartment. There’s something 1960-ish about this.

walking
Approaching the beach area. The weather was good that day!

codonas
First view of Codonas! The small mountain and the fake palm trees are part of the outdoor mini golf adventure thingy.

codonas
Another look at Codonas from a different side.

galleon
First ride we tried was The Galleon. I think it was a good “warm-up” ride. It’s got the thrills but it’s not sooo intense that you knock yourself out on the  first go. Interesting how you feel almost weightless at the height of the swings – more due to inertia and momentum than actual loss of gravity, of course.

crazy train
Crazy Train roller coaster, our second ride of the day, and it surprised us. It didn’t look very “crazy” but once it dropped and began its mad twisting, it was crazy all right! And soooo much fun! I hadn’t been on a roller coaster in ages so it was twice the fun!

codonas
Random view from near the Crazy Train roller coaster. Haunted Mansion on the left, and some kids’ ride on the right. Apparently all amusement parks have the same gaudy colour scheme all over the world.

kiddie ride
Another kids’ ride…

We opted for the Haunted Mansion after Crazy Train – which later turned out to be a really good idea – and (fortunately for me!) it turned out to be really mild and actually kind of not scary since it didn’t do much besides have loads of scary sounds and occasional Halloween-esque figures.

After that we went for what was called The Disco Waltzer. I thought I had a picture of it but apparently I don’t. Hmm. Oh well. Anyway it’s one of those spinning teacup-type rides. I generally am not too fond of that sort of ride, but I can bear it. And I was kind of on an enthusiastic high that day I think. lol.

While we were waiting for our turn, we remarked on the amount of screaming coming from the people on the ride at the moment. It seemed a bit excessive. But when we got on the ride ourselves, we very quickly realised that the screams were entirely justified. It was INSANE. But not in a good way.

For one thing, the ride goes round and round really darn fast for something of that size. And it doesn’t just turn on a flat surface, it was a sloped track. Like, if you cut a paper circle and twist it slightly. That was kind of the track it was. To make things worse, it was the type where (as Wikipedia describes it) the operator manually spins the “teacup” and you can’t control it yourself. (It wasn’t a teacup in the Codonas version, of course, but I shall call it a teacup just to make my life easier for now.) The teacup spun so SO FAST. After something like 10 seconds, I thought my head would explode and soon I was just trying not to regurgitate my lunch in addition to hoping that my brain wouldn’t fly out of my skull. And then the stupid teacup started spinning in the opposite direction. It changed direction twice more after that. The speed hardly ever dropped either. It just kept going round and round and round… @_@

We were both incredibly relieved when it finally stopped. Stumbled out of the ride and collapsed on the nearest empty bench to collect our wits.

After recovering slightly, we opted for the ferris wheel – a nice, slow, thrill-less ride.
ferris wheel

beach
View of the beach from the ferris wheel.

The ferris wheel was pleasant and harmless, but once we got down from that, the queasy sensations from the Waltzer were back anew. Or maybe it never actually went away and we just imagined it or fought it for a while, thinking and hoping that it would pass quickly… only it didn’t. We made straight for an empty table and sat down to try and sort ourselves out and find a position in which our heads did not ache, or at least hurt less. Don’t know how long we just sat there, but it was at least about 10 minutes I think. We were totally different from what we had been prior to getting on the Waltzer. From being totally enthusiastic about everything to suddenly finding that every ride looked reeeally unappealing. (It didn’t help that one of us was short of sleep and the other one had been feeling the effects of a hangover earlier that morning.) Mattresses to lie down on would’ve been nice at that moment…

Eventually decided to get up and go to the washroom to see if water on our faces would help any. Didn’t really work for me. haha. Then we figured we’d try going to walk along the beach – maybe, hopefully the sea breeze and the look of the calm water would help?

beach
The beach…

beach
See that ledge on which people are sitting? We ended up sitting on that ledge. At first because I wanted to take off my socks and shoes so I wouldn’t get sand into them. But I found that just sitting there was nice enough, and then figured that I just really wanted to lie down and that slope would have to do in the absence of a nice comfy bed. So I leaned back and whoaaaa, to be able to lie back was such a relief. Turns out that that was exactly what we both needed. Never thought I’d actually see the day where I’d sit out in the sun with no umbrella. It was really sunny at first but then it turned a little cloudy. Either way, I didn’t care. I just wanted to lie down. hahaha. Again, no idea how long we stayed there but it was quite a while. Maybe 15 minutes? (Teacup rides are not good. Not good at all…)

c'est moi
This is me looking much happier after more or less recovering from the awful effects of the Waltzer. All in all it took us nearly an hour to fully recover (judging from the time of my photos). That’s a long time!

In hindsight, we both agreed that choosing not to do the Waltzer right after Crazy Train and instead going for the Haunted Mansion first was a really good choice. We’d probably have done irreparable damage to ourselves if we’d followed up on the Crazy Train roller coaster with the Disco Waltzer. hahah (Thank You, God, for those subconscious self-preservation instincts.)

codonas
View of Codonas from the beach.

beach
I suspect that those patches of rock are put there so as to create little bays of water so that people can wade and such in more safety…

rocks
Rocks covered in seaweed.

boulevard
The boulevard(?) by the beach. It’s somehow such a “typical” and nostalgic image, those shops by the beach…

We went back to Codonas and resumed our quest to complete every ride there (which, minus the kiddie rides, meant that there was just the Log Flume and the Looping Star roller coast left – it’s not a very big park).

codonas
You can see the Log Flume on the right. It’s the kind of ride where you get wet. :D (I thought I’d taken way more pictures of Codonas than I did, but I think the stupid Waltzer messed with my mind so I took less photos than I imagined…)

I loved the Log Flume! I’m not sure why… Maybe it was because although it wasn’t thrilling in the same way as the roller coasters, it was all a matter of the tension built up each time it sent you plunging down the slide. And you got wet too. hahah

After that we went for the Looping Star, which was on the rooftop of the indoor section (which we didn’t explore). The Looping Star was the most exciting roller coaster there, but I preferred the Crazy Train because at least that one went two rounds before stopping. Looping Star did one circuit and that was it. Still, was fun!

All in all, we went twice on the Looping Star, Crazy Train and the Galleon, and three times on the Log Flume. Yep, I ♥ the Log Flume. It’s a good thing my bag managed to keep my camera dry.

Oh, also tried the Giant Slide. That was another unexpectedly fun one. It looks ridiculously simple – a long slide with humps – and not particularly thrilling. All you do is take a mat, go to the top, sit on the mat and slide down. A lot of parents with kids went for that, so at first glance it really looks like nothing but a kiddie ride. But… it’s so much fun. When you slide down it’s way faster than you’d think!

Here’s a very rough approximation of the slide. I think I may have missed a bump somewhere and the angle is very likely all wrong, but you get the idea.
slide

The interesting part is that on one of the bumps at the bottom, your momentum is such that you almost fly over one of them. And then you kind of skid to a stop at the end. Funnnn! It’s also really fun if you push off at the same time and go shooting down the slide together – either you race down or you try to see how synchronised you can be. ahahaha

Would probably have done this more times, but the wait is kinda long since each person gets about 3 turns each time. Meh.

After our last ride (which was The Galleon, I think) we headed back to the beach for another stroll. So here are a few more beach photos…

beach
This just occurred to me. Those poles must be some sort of tide indicator… Just how high does the tide get??

creature
Found a little sea creature still in its shell – and still alive! I spent quite a few minutes staring at this tiny thing and taking photos of it. (People who go places with me have to either have magnificent patience or be prepared for my obssessing over wild animals and such…)

beach
The salty sea breeze and the sand were so nice and familiar to me – even though back home we don’t go to the beach much, really. Was glad that we had time to walk up and down the beach a little.

mural

Finally, we had dinner at TGIF and then headed back into town.

aberdeen
Mercat Cross… I think?

Our train back to Edinburgh was at 8.05pm. I slept a little bit on the train, but ended up being mostly engrossed in taking pictures of the pretty sunset. A tricky job, given the train movement, window reflection and trees and telephone poles and stuff constantly getting in the way. But I got some nice shots!

sunset

sunset
Just look at the gorgeous rays of light!

sunset
My camera may not have the capacity to take pretty portrait shots – with the super blurry backgrounds and all – and sometimes I do envy the people with actual DSLRs because those cameras can really do wonders. But at other times, the fact that my camera can capture images like this one is quite enough. :) (And I try my level best to make up for equipment deficiency by trying for better compositions. Heh.)

sunset
Got a tiny bit of lens flare there, but I like it.

sunset
This was one of the last pictures I took. Time: 9.24pm.

Reached Edinburgh shortly before 11 (and there was still a hint of sunlight then!) and was back in my flat by 11.40. It was a long day, but a really fun one!

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3 Comments

  1. Nice! And I noticed you have a nuffnang ad at the sidebar…

  2. I see you had fun.. :D those sunset pics are really nice tho.
    ikitai naa~~

  3. square: Oh wow, so *now* the thing works? lol.

    senn: :D thanks!

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