“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
– John Lubbock
For those of you who have done any sort of backpacking, be it of the hardcore hippie persuasion or slightly more bourgeois itinerary-laden type, you know that at a certain point you may possibly hit a glass ceiling of sorts comprised of too-many-new-things-in-too-short-a-time.
It’s almost as if your mind can only process so much wonder at once. If I could offer any advice in hindsight…It would be to build in a little R&R where no learning is required, only contemplation of all the new information jostling for importance in your overstimulated brain.
We found this, rather unintentionally, in the Silver City with the Golden Sands, or Aberdeen if you prefer.
The hostel we had inadvertently chosen was airy and beautiful and, well, exactly what we needed. Though far from the city center, the walk was a welcome stretch of our legs and honestly? I didn’t mind being separated from the majority of the city’s many tourists.
Now, I’ve heard some negative things about Aberdeen. I’ve heard it described as boring, not worth visiting, and various other less-than-flattering descriptions. And, to be fair, I couldn’t for the life of me recommend it as a party city. But then, that is in no way what we were looking for at the time. So I’ll describe it as best I can.
In a word? Beautiful.
I can understand where it got the nickname “The Granite City” from. Everywhere you go, it seems, the granite walls of its buildings tower above you as you make your way along narrow sidewalks interspersed with parks which have won the city the Britain in Bloom competition a record 10 times.
However, it is also called The Silver City and I’d say this is a wee bit more accurate than its other moniker, The Grey City. In the late afternoon especially, the walls seem to sparkle, thanks to the copious amounts of mica embedded in their surfaces, and the sun dances off their silver majesty creating an enticing light show for the senses.
And the beaches, the Golden Sands.
Now, full disclosure, it honestly took Kristen and I hours to get there. If I had one critique for the city, it would be that the map we were given was unintelligible and as a result, we ended up traipsing around the old and new ports (accompanied by more then a few other confused tourists) for what seemed like forever until we finally found our way to the at-this-point-seemingly-mythical beach.
The hike, however, was more than worth it. Aberdeen’s coast is stunning. The beach seems to go on forever, and ostensibly reading our books while actually gazing out at the ocean was exactly what Kristen and I needed in that moment. In fact, even knowing now the wonders that were to come, I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
I won’t bore you, dear internet, with descriptions of exactly what our mini-vacation entailed of (hint: mostly reading and sleep) but I thoroughly enjoyed walking around this beautiful city. And, given the chance, I would love to go back and get to know another side of the city that provided me with my much-needed rest.
After all, rest is NEVER a waste of time. Without it, how could we continue to enjoy all the beautiful madness life affords? So thank you, Aberdeen, for allowing me to stretch out on the grass and admire the clouds floating across the sky.