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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.
I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps. See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Big ship, little ship, bananas

Nicola, Pete, Lola and Nell want to travel the world with a difference. We hope to get a taste of many countries without adding to climate change (with needless emissions from aeroplanes) or having to waste hours of holiday time in airport terminals. We hope our adventures inspire you to take a Grand Tour of your neighbourhood. This post is from Nicola (pic is of a HUGE boat in Aberdeen's very crowded harbour)

My grandfather and dad used to drive my brother and sister crazy when we were little always hanging around harbours looking at the boats. Now I'm grown up, and they are both dead, inevitably I want to do the family thing of go to harbours and look at the boats. We trooped the girls off to Aberdeen but near the Maritime Museum, with its big focus on oil, though it is a busy working port, with such vast-sized ships, it is also guarded by a major fence and four lanes of speedy traffic and thus the boats aren't really visitable.
I tried to book a boat trip to look at the nesting sea birds along the cliffs south of Stonehaven and down to Fowlsheugh but the skipper, Ian Watson, was busy doing sonar work one day, worried about weather the next and booked up for the third. He reckons the birds (eg, guillemots and razorbills) will be leaving within a fortnight because they arrived early - it's only the kittiwakes who are on a more normal nesting schedule.
Along the Banff coast the harbours attract the tourists but there seem very few boats, they weren't out fishing when we drove past; they'd given up fishing. It seems strange that such an important island skill - fishing - has been so neglected (some might say destroyed) and our fish stocks treated with such disregard.

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