The Aberdeen Maritime Museum

Stephen F. Dennstedt

The Aberdeen Maritime Museum is literally just a few steps from our hotel. We spent an hour wandering its floors and admiring its nautical displays today. It’s not only close but absolutely free—no admission charge whatsoever.

Free ALWAYS works for us so I suspect we’ll go back for repeated visits. When visiting museums you never see everything in just one pass. I visited the museums in San Diego (my hometown) hundreds of times over the years.

Before I talk about the museum and share a few photos I would like to relate a story to you. The Muppet Brothers (Steve & Joel) talk a lot about the role serendipity plays in our travels around the world—the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. Wednesday morning Joel and I went looking for a local laundry because the laundry prices at the hotel are outrageous—we could buy new garments for the price they’re charging to wash them just one time. Here are just a few examples from their price list: Shirts £5.30, T-Shirts £4.85, Pants £7.90, Underwear £2.00 and Socks £1.65 per pair.

Aberdeen Maritime Museum – Aberdeen, Scotland

Rather than complain we just asked our friendly hotel receptionist where we might get a less expensive bulk rate—just fluff & fold (no ironing or hangers involved). She suggested Morrison’s and gave us a vague idea where that might be and in no time at all we were basically lost and clueless. Spying what we initially thought were two policemen on foot we asked if they knew where Morrison’s was. Turns out they weren’t policemen at all but City Wardens and they were so incredibly courteous and helpful we were mightily impressed—even to the point where they walked us a few blocks so we wouldn’t get lost again.

Aberdeen Maritime Museum Display

City Wardens provide a flexible service that responds to the needs of the communities they serve.  The service was launched in January 2009 by redesigning the roles and responsibilities previously undertaken by Parking Enforcement Officers, Environmental Wardens and Community Wardens. The wardens help to deter antisocial behaviour, littering and illegal parking in the city. In January 2016 the wardens started to use video badge cameras. The aim is to help tackle violence and antisocial behaviour throughout the city. 

Aberdeen Maritime Museum Display

They also give help to dumb tourists and travellers like us thank God. We had a great chat while they were helping us and they both seemed genuinely interested in our story which after six years seems kind of mundane—it still surprises us when others find our lifestyle interesting. Before parting ways Joel and I gave them each one of our business cards and we continued on to Morrison’s. Unfortunately, Morrison’s only does Dry Cleaning but they referred us to Johnson’s on Union Street. Long story short we found Johnson’s and they will do our bulk fluff & fold laundry for about £10 (which is what we’re used to paying).

Aberdeen Maritime Museum Display

The City Wardens were a male/female team (or vice versa if you prefer). His name was Walter. This morning I got this message: Hi guys, welcome to Aberdeen. I was one of the City Warden’s that was giving you directions to get your laundry done the other day. I must say already your photo’s and comments on our lovely city are an inspiration. I hope you enjoy your stay in the Granite City and get a chance to explore some of the rural attractions we have in the Northeast of Scotland. Maybe we’ll bump into you on the streets again. Regards Walter. Welcome to my blog Walter and thank you again.

Aberdeen Maritime Museum Display – North Atlantic Oil Rig Model (Spanning All Four Levels)

Aberdeen Maritime Museum. The Aberdeen Maritime Museum tells the story of the city’s long relationship with the Sea. This award-winning museum is located on the historic Shiprow and incorporates Provost Ross’s House, which was built in 1593. The Maritime Museum houses a unique collection covering shipbuilding, fast sailing ships, fishing and port history. It is also the only place in the UK where you can see displays on the North Sea oil and gas industry. Aberdeen Maritime Museum offers visitors a spectacular viewpoint over the busy harbour. 

Aberdeen Maritime Museum Display

It’s really neat that this world-class museum incorporates Provost Ross’s House dating back to 1593. Wow—what history. I’m glad that we have another two weeks here in Aberdeen. If you visit Aberdeen I think this maritime museum is a must-see. It’s absolutely free so there is no excuse. In the next few days we’ll be visiting the Tolbooth Museum (formerly a 17th-Century prison) which is also just a short walk from our hotel. Like the Aberdeen Maritime Museum this museum is also absolutely free. If these museums were in the USA they would be charging us up the butt.

Field Notes: I captured these photos with my Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR and EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM ultra wide-angle zoom lens. I was shooting in Manual Mode with my shutter set to 1/13s and my aperture at f/4. My ISO and WB were both set to automatic. I captured most of the interior shots at 16mm. Museums typically require a good FOV so 16mm to 20mm works good, also the lighting can be real tricky so I shoot with auto-ISO and auto-WB. Any corrections can be made in Photoshop. If you have people in the shot (especially at the edge of the frame) distortion can be problematic. SFD

4 responses to “The Aberdeen Maritime Museum

  1. What an interesting concept – City Wardens. I think their role would be a perfect fit in our current environment in the US. Love your pictures and especially the ones from the various areas of Scotland. Safe travels to you both and I enjoy each and every post. Toni

  2. The Warden is a great concept, alas in today’s environment people would complain their right to be antisocial was being infringed on.

    I have found people take pity on wanderers and are more than happy to help. Except the Paris Metro of course. When asked which train to the Eiffel Tower, the response was ‘which one’. My natural response was ‘the big one’. I guess sarcasm is not a French trait…

    Nice to follow your travels from my safe haven in the swamp.

    • It will be a sad day when I just get too damn old to continue this adventure. It started 7 years ago with 6 of those years on the road. It’s still a BLAST everyday. I guess when I finally stop I will at least have my memories (hopefully) and my photos. The French comment resonates. The new Ugly Americans are often the French, Chinese and Russians. But, hey, it’s all good.

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