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Throwback Ron Travels: Dundee, Scotland

Hello everyone! This will be my last throwback travel post in Scotland which will feature where I lived for two months, Dundee.

Wow, I have so much to learn about travelling.. or maybe it’s the fact that I live in Dundee that I took it for granted. To be fair, Dundee was still constructing their “tourist” side at that time so there weren’t many spots to appreciate last year. Read their future plans here. Rather than a picturesque Tay side, when we arrived in Dundee, most of the buildings were up for demolition and a lot of construction is happening as you can see on the right side of the picture below, this is the street of where I lived.

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Commercial St.

Fortunately, we lived at the heart of the city centre, so everything was accessible. It’s quite important especially when it’s almost 5 in the afternoon when the shops are about to close.

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Overgate is the main shopping centre in Dundee with shops like Primark, TopShop, River Island, and New Look. If you enter Overgate at the photo above, and go straight, you’ll exit Debenhams as seen below.

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Open this map below in a new tab to have a better idea of where the places I have and will be mentioning.

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St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

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The city centre if you’re standing at KFC which is adjacent to St. Paul’s.

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City Centre, across The Caird Hall and right side of The Overgate, the street ahead is where McDonald’s is (see map) and The Counting House as well as The McManus.

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The McManus

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The McManus outside The Counting House where Paul and I spend our Sundays eating BBQ ribs.

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The Caird Hall, across Overgate

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Caird Hall at night

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Steeple Church, surrounding the church is The Overgate, Primark on the right of this photo, Debenhams on the left and several shops at the back such as River Island and TopShop. Across the Steeple Church is Nando’s. UK’s favorite restaurant and this is from Paul’s instagram with me eating my first Nando meal.

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To be honest, it didn’t impress me at all thus the gesture at the end. I’ve tasted much much better chicken. Maybe it’s because Paul has overhyped it for me (so did Ed Sheeran and his crazy Nando’s craving tweets while he was on tour in the US). I mean, you’ve never been in the UK if you haven’t eaten in Nando’s. I expected mind blowing food but it just wasn’t. It wasn’t bad at all.. I just thought it wasn’t as nice as how people describe it to be. Paul was devastated when I told him that. Hahaha you should’ve seen his face when I said.. “Hmm, meh.” because he loves Nando’s so much at that time. Not anymore now, I might’ve influenced him but he said he’ll definitely make me go back and try again. Maybe I was just feeling crappy that day with jet lag and all so UK people, don’t kill me just yet. I swear I’ll go back and have another go.

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From Debenhams, you’ll find this street which at the very end of it, that three pointy things right above the red-shirt-wearing-human is St. Andrew’s Cathedral which is a Catholic church and where I go to church every Sunday while I was in Dundee.

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This is the same street as the photo before but it’s facing towards the city centre, the second pointy building at the far end of this photo is St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, which is just 5 meters away from where we live (see map again).

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Right across St. Andrew’s Cathedral is this particular street which will lead you towards the University of Dundee, Mandarin Garden and Liquid.

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Paul checked the top places nearby while we were still in the apartment and read good reviews for this one.

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As mentioned earlier, from Ketchup, University of Dundee is just a walk away. Nearby is Mandarin Garden which was a lucky discovery. Paul and I decided to eat out one night (because lazy non-cooks) and found this. It quickly became a favorite because who doesn’t love Chinese cuisine?

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I also ordered through delivery a couple of times after that night. Not guilty at all. Sometimes, you get home from work really tired and can’t be bothered cooking. Recommended: crab and sweetcorn soup, prawns in cheese sauce, mandarin spicy sweet and sour hot pot (chicken, pork, shrimps)

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Nearby the University is Liquid, if you want to go out and party. They usually have promos so check out their website before you visit. (There’s one in Halifax, where Paul lives so he knew it could be a proper one.) This is us partying. Don’t judge.

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I also found it quite amusing to see a man in kilts, like proper Scottish kilt, go clubbing. I don’t know if you’re supposed to do that. I still think kilts are for formal occasions and not drunken nights. To each his own, I suppose? Or was he breaking the law?

So now that you know where to eat Chinese food, go party and where to study, let’s go back to the city centre.

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Going to the city centre from where we live, you’ll find this little pub called the Hog’s Head (see map again). As a potterhead, this was definitely a photo-worthy moment. It makes me laugh everytime I go pass it because it’s making me feel like I’m in Hogsmeade or something. If you didn’t know, Hog’s Head is a shabby place in the only all-wizarding village in Britain called the Hogsmeade. It might be infamous but it actually serves as a historical point in the books as this is where Professor Trelawney’s prophecy about Harry happened, as well as Albus’ brother Aberforth lived which then turn into a secret entry point to Hogwarts on the night when Oldy Voldy died. Oh wait, I’m supposed to talk about Dundee.. okay. Back to Dundee.

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If you continue walking towards Hog’s Head, you’ll find another shopping mall with less crowd called the Wellgate. They have less high-end shops but still reasonable ones.

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Now, this is the Discovery Point, the main tourist spot for Dundee where you can find RSS Discovery, the last traditional wooden three-masted ship built in Britain. It was used for the Discovery Expedition,  the first British exploration to Antarctica after sixty years in 1800’s.

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RSS Discovery

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River Tay and Tay Bridge from the Discovery Quay

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A monument by William Longair, Lord Provost of the Burgh of Dundee from 1905 to 1908

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At the Discovery Quay

I bet, in the future, Dundee will have much more tourist spots given their plans and will have the spotlight on them but for now, Dundee for me is a very underrated place that I don’t want anyone to discover. If you want to explore Scotland, I recommend staying in Dundee compared to staying in much bigger and busier cities like Glasgow or Edinburgh. You can just hop on a train to these places anyway and lodging costs will certainly differ.

From here point on, I’ll just share with you personal bits and pieces during my stay in Dundee.

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My first sunrise in Dundee at 4 in the morning. It was summer so the sun rises really early and sets really late.

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I remember walking around town and feel so amazed as to how it’s still so light even at 7 in the evening. It makes you feel safer.

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This was taken 9 in the evening!

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View from my room window. Seagulls and other birds dominates Dundee.

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My first trip to Tesco, after work, 7 in the evening and it looked like noon.

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The last video I took of Dundee before going to Halifax.

Aww, I miss Dundee. ♥ Hope you enjoyed my post even thought it was a bit more on the personal side rather than a guide. Here’s the accompanying video:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pr46PViBnSg?list=PLkCVzvCZAhLlllDh8trlzVEqZGFuxCmjY]

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