Thursday, 18 April 2013

About Perth

So, being back in my hometown, living here for the first time in ten years, I'm both bored and suffering a little culture shock. I thought I'd share a little bit of info about this place for my friends back in the Balkans so they can imagine what my life's like here.

Perth is a town of 45000 people in central Scotland, an hour north of Edinburgh. There's been people here since at least 6000 BC, but it was in the early 12th Century that it became a city, a royal Burgh, as the effective capital of Scotland at the time - the royal palace being just 3 miles away at Scone. It then lost its status as a City in the late 1990's, but was given it back by the Queen in 2012.

Just like Brčko, Perth is built on a river. It's called the Tay, and it's not quite as wide in Perth as the Sava is in  Brčko:
This is a view of the city centre from one of the bridges.

It's almost as stupid a place to swim though - so many chemicals from the farmland, I went blind for an hour after swimming once. It's also pretty cold.

There's lots of interesting buildings in Perth; the city used to be called St John's Town, because of the old kirk (church) in the centre.
It's about 500 years old, and looks sunken into the ground because the roads around it have been built up over the years.

Nowadays only the football team still has the name - St Johnstone, for all you crazy footy fans.

One place of particular significance for me is the crazy-looking Caledonian Road Primary School:
I used to attend orchestra in the attic space of this school - and while my own primary school was being refurbished, we were moved to this school as well for a year or so. I had my first fight here...

Things that I found very strange upon returning to Scotland:
  • driving on the left again
  • how careful everyone is around cyclists
  • Accents - I no longer sound remotely Scottish, so I don't know how to speak without sounding horribly posh
  • Birdsong - everywhere, so many more birds of different types and constant chirping and singing.

So here's my parents' house, where I've been for the last week and a half.
A front view. The house is about 100 years old.

And from the back. very few balconies in Scotland - too cold - so the big window is where I sit to get some daylight.

 This is the view from that window. It's not very clear but there's about 15 birds of 5 different species in this photo, and they will not shut up for anything!

 I'll post some more interesting photos as I take them over the next few weeks.
One very nice thing about Perth is you're never far from greenery. If I walk for ten minutes up the hill behind our house, this is the view I get:
Looking back down the road
Looking in the same direction, toward the city centre, standing further over to the right

Then rotating a little to face toward Kinnoull Hill

And looking off to the East toward Dundee.

I also took a wee walk up Kinnoull Hill yesterday, and took some photos because the forests here are very similar to those I've been in in Serbia.

Looking uphill

Looking along the track in one direction
And along the path the other way.

At the top of Kinnoull Hill is a great cliff with a watchtower on it, that looks out over the whole Tay valley towards Dundee. I found a good picture of it on the webs:
The tower is nicknamed 'The Monk's Leap', because back some 800 years ago, Perth was full of monasteries, and of course everybody loves a good story of love and tragedy. So legend has it a Monk fell in love with a Nun, but of course they couldn't be together, so he threw himself off this cliff. No evidence at all but a good story eh!

And that's all for now - lots of love to all of you back in the Balkans, I hope you're enjoying spring. I have seen a few blue skies, but usually it's spitting rain at the same time...

No comments:

Post a Comment