Not noted for their fiscal generosity, Aberdonians have a great reputation for being wholeheartedly generous in all other ways. They can not get enough of you and can not do enough for you. Everything is 'no bother', 'you're all right' and so on. The whole town feels as if it's interviewing you, far more interested in the minutiae of your daily existence than their own. That's nice to know, because the weather barometer has been known to drop to a low -15 some years while the tourist guides paint a picture of a fine but hard gray, granite buildings borne out of the Rubislaw granite quarry. A warm welcome and friendly ear makes all the difference to the chill of Scotland's third city.
I recall the North Sea disaster of '88 and the news headlines and photos of the Piper Alpha oil rig sitting 120 miles off Aberdeen and blazing like a torch. It is still said to be the worst off shore rig disaster of that industry and the rescue of all but of few was co-ordinated by Aberdeen's coastguard. The Aberdeen Maritime Museum houses all the tales of its past links with the sea and the recent explorations by both oil and gas industries.
Aberdeen, or Mouth of the Dee where it merges with the Don, was once an important fishery and ship building port, renounced too for its paper mill and textiles, but the oil industry has swamped those images of the past and now boasts the title of 'Oil Center of Europe'.
Aberdeen is a majestic city, with beautiful buildings, parks, gardens and a long, soft sandy beach. For horticulturalists, Aberdeen is a joy to visit and so regularly wins the Britain in Bloom award it has to be directed to give other cities a look in. Scotland in Bloom is now a recorded win and where else can you go after that but to the International Cities in Bloom to pick up the trophy?