Aberdeen Cardiff Train
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The city of Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous city, behind Edinburgh and Glasgow. Aberdeen has a long sandy beach between the two rivers, the Dee and the Don, which turns into high sand dunes north of the Don stretching as far as Fraserburgh. To the south of the Dee are steep rocky cliff faces with only minor pebble and shingle beaches in deep inlets. A number of granite outcrops along the south coast have been quarried in the past, making for spectacular scenery and good rock-climbing.
The city is sometimes known as the Granite City, the Grey City and the Silver City with the Golden Sands. These are all reference to the local quarried grey granite incorporated into Aberdeen's buildings. The discovery of North Sea oil in the 1970's it has also been known as the Oil Capital of Europe. The traditional industries of fishing, paper-making, shipbuilding, and textiles have been overtaken by the oil industry and Aberdeen's seaport. Aberdeen Heliport is one of the busiest commercial heliports in the world and the seaport is the largest in the north-east of Scotland. North Sea oil production has declined from its peak but the industry still supports around 47,000 jobs locally.
Cardiff is bordered to the west by the rural district of the Vale of Glamorgan—also known as The Garden of Cardiff— to the east by the city of Newport, to the north by the South Wales Valleys and to the south by the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel. The River Taff winds through the centre of the city and together with the River Ely flows into the freshwater lake of Cardiff Bay. A third river, the Rhymney flows through the east of the city entering directly into the Severn Estuary. Its location and geographic features were influential in its development as the world's largest coal port, most notably its proximity and easy access to the coal fields of the south Wales valleys.
Today, Cardiff is the main financial and business centre in Wales and the city was recently placed seventh overall in the top 50 European cities and also ranked seventh in attracting foreign investment. Cardiff is one of the most popular tourist destination cities in the United Kingdom, receiving around 18 million visitors in 2010 and generating £852 million for the city's economy. There are a large number of hotels of varying sizes and standards in the city, providing almost 9,000 available bed spaces.