Tuesday 17thJune 2008
Aberdeen to Peterborough
The boat docked on time at 7am the next morning. We had been told that we could leave the bike on board and take a leisurely breakfast. Car owners had had to disembark with their cars before coming back on board for breakfast which was served until 9am. As it was raining outside we were in no rush to leave the boat. By 8.30 the rain had more or less abated and we made our way off the boat and through the city centre towards Old Aberdeen where the Cathedral Church of St Machar was situated. The cycle route through the city passed through the university sector – an attractive area with mature trees and green spaces – but the side streets, which were cobbled, were a nightmare to ride on – so we ended up by walking. We were passed by another cyclist – fully laden with 4 panniers and a tent – he was off on a 2 month jaunt around the coastline of northern Europe. Next year for us?? I don’t think so. We were made very welcome at the cathedral and were even allowed to visit the bell tower to see a recently installed stained glass window which commemorates the installation of a new set of bells in 1987. Outside in the church yard we were amazed to see how grand and tightly packed the gravestones were. After the visit we returned to the city centre to visit the Scottish Episcopal Cathedral of St Andrews. This is a much more modern structure with close associations with America. The building dates from the early 1800’s and the links are as a result of the first American Bishop (Samuel Seabury) being consecrated in Aberdeen in 1784.
Time for lunch – after much searching we came upon a friendly pub in Little Belmont Street – they even invited us to take the tandem inside for security reasons. Lunch taken and a short visit to an art gallery and it was time to leave for the station. It was a six hour journey back to Peterborough where Peter met us on the station. I got so involved in unloading the tandem that I completely forgot about the panniers which were also in the guard’s van. A minute or so later with the train about to depart and Christine asked “where are the panniers?” The guard willingly obliged us by opening up again – that was close!
Mileage ~5 miles Total 500.0 miles