Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A Native's Opinion Of The Granite City

10 Reasons Why Aberdeen in Scotland is Worth a Visit

If you browse through any travel magazine or brochure for Aberdeen, you will undoubtedly find countless attractions, scenic viewpoints and historical landmarks that pique your interest. To get a real feel for what to expect in the granite city of Aberdeen, however, it is best to hear from a biased native like me :)

The city of Aberdeen is one of the largest in Scotland, and it is a cosmopolitan and progressive city thanks to international shipping and a diverse population. If you are thinking about taking a holiday to Aberdeen in the future, read on for my top 10 reasons that this incredible city is worth a visit.

1. Easily Accessible

Although Aberdeen might look remote on the map, and is indeed located more than 70 miles from the nearest town, it is surprisingly accessible from throughout the United Kingdom and even the rest of the world. The local Airport operates flights from all across Europe, or visitors could use the public buses, trains and even boats to get to the city.

2. Impressive Museums

Museums are often one of the top things that people look for in a city holiday destination, and Aberdeen certainly won't disappoint. Some of the best museums in the city include King's Museum, the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, the Tolbooth Museum and the Gordon Highlanders Museum. Many of the museums in Aberdeen are free or very reasonably priced, a big contrast to cities like Edinburgh and London.

3. Nearby Hiking and Outdoor Recreation

Aberdeen is the perfect starting point for outdoor adventures in Scotland. The city is located just next to amazing golf courses, incredible hiking trails and even mountains for skiing and snowboarding. If you are feeling adventurous, head to the Aberdeen beach for some windsurfing in the summer.

4. Growing Business Community

Oil and fishing are not the only thriving industries locally. The construction of a brand new £215 million business park is on the horizon, and local Aberdeen based companies such as Taxi App operation Whapp, Julie Mehta's marketing firm Debutmarketing, and innovative software developer Intellicore, are all blazing a trail in the local community.

5. Thriving Cultural Scene

Since Aberdeen has always been a wealthy city, the culture is vibrant and offers lots of great opportunities for visitors and locals alike. You might choose to see an art house film in the Belmont Picturehouse, listen to some live jazz at the Lemon Tree or laugh through stand-up comedy at the popular Music Hall.

6. Granite Architecture

The architecture in Aberdeen is much admired, primarily because many of the historic structures are built of granite and create a stunning skyline. Some of the most important buildings to view are the Salvation Army Citadel, Marischal College and St. Mark's Church.

7. Excellent Dining Scene

Although an Aberbeen buttery, or rowie bread roll, might be enough to sustain you when walking around town, you will probably want something more substantial for your evening meal. Thankfully, the city boasts a variety of incredible dining options for locals and visitors alike. Whether you are in the mood for Indian, Italian or Thai, you can find it all in granite city.

8. 18 Hour Summer Days

Due to it's location in northern Scotland, Aberdeen is lucky enough to boast long summer days. In fact, 18 hours of sun is not uncommon in July and August. This is wonderful for summer visits, as you can have plenty of time to see the sights around town during the day. But be prepared for plenty of rain in the autumn!

9. Great Shopping Opportunities

People rarely think of Aberdeen as a shopping destination, but the oil industry and the shipping in the area mean there is a lot of money to spend, and the upscale shops reflect that. Visitors can find high street shops on Union Street, malls like the Bon Accord Centre and the Trinity Centre and even markets for fresh produce and local handicrafts.

10. Safety and Security

Believe it or not, Aberdeen is actually one of the safest cities in the United Kingdom. By exercising common sense, you can avoid crimes and feel safe even when walking around at night in the city.

Although it may be clear that I love the city, I am certainly not alone. Plan your next visit to Aberdeen to see why so many travelers from around the world enjoy themselves in this Scottish destination.

Cheers, S.Mcdonald

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

My Favorite Web Browser

7 Reasons Why I Love The Firefox Browser

Mozilla's Firefox Browser

I'm far from being a computer whiz but I know what I like and I love Mozilla's flagship browser. Here are seven reasons why I do.

1 - Free

Possibly the most important reason I use Firefox is its support of free open source code, which means that its designed to be nonprofit and is available for anyone to use at no cost. This helped draw me to Firefox and has kept me with this sterling browser through the years.

2 - Tabbed Browsing

My first love for Firefox came through my discovery of tabbed browsing, made popular and mainstreamed by Mozilla. Like most people, I had been using a different' popular browser, when I discovered Firefox. The tabbed browsing made my searching and browsing so much easier that I was quickly hooked. I was able to effortlessly jump from page to page and topic to topic.

3 - Location Aware

Another aspect I love about Firefox is its location-aware browsing. With this feature I am able to find results close to wherever I am. I just type in what I am looking for, Firefox uses my location without sharing or tracking it, and voila – my search for nearby pizza, museums' or directions to Auntie Em's house are displayed before my eyes.

4 - Session Restore
Session Restore is a feature that is quite useful for someone like me who wants to continue using my open tabs after accidently closing the browser, or when I need to run a new download or update requiring it first be restarted. With Session Restore I can get everything back with one click. I no longer need to weed through my history to reopen my browser tabs. I love it!

5 - Search and Find

I use the Search and Find feature regularly. As I am doing research I often come across lengthy articles that I know pertain to my subject but I don't have the time, or patience, to read through the entire article. Using Search and Find, every instance of that word or phrase is instantly highlighted on the web page. Firefox has saved me hours of searching to find that one paragraph I needed for my research.

6 - Privacy

Privacy is a great concern for me and Firefox gives me the ability to hide my browsing habits using the Do-not-track option available in the privacy settings. With this option checked I receive far less third party information, such as targeted advertising, related to my shopping cart contents and browsing history. It seems like it's only a slight exaggeration to say that these days anyone can see everything I do online, so anything I can do to keep what privacy I have is important to me and Firefox provides me with this security.

7 - Compatibility

I use Firefox on my mobile phone as well as my home computer and syncing between the two has become a convenience I wouldn't want to be without. With Firefox Sync I am able to carry my home computer in my pocket, so to speak, having my tabs, browsing history and bookmarks on my mobile browser just the way it looked on my home computer. On the other hand, if I find a cool site on my phone while browsing Firefox and I want to look at it later, my phone syncs it back to my home computer just as easily.

Firefox has remained my favorite browser for years. I have tried other browsers but this always wins out in terms of ease of use and its available options and add-ons. After trying others, returning to Firefox just feels like coming home - comfortable. The comfort of Firefox is as important to me as its privacy.