Sunday, September 13, 2015

Day Trip - Oban

Though Glencoe was our base of operations, hubby also planned some day trips.  The first was to Oban, a fishing village on the west coast.  It is about 1.5 hours south from Glencoe, but we took our time, driving along in the drenching rain.  Again, this is the view from our room.  Takes one's breath away.
 It was a wet, grey day, which we thoroughly enjoyed.  Such a change from drought-stricken California!  There were boats on the lochs, though this may have been a sea water inlet.  It was hard to tell, there's so much water.
 "Keep an eye out for Castle Stalker."  I didn't know what it was, but it is a privately owned castle, that was used in  Monty Python's Holy Grail movie.  There is a delightful cafe up the hill, that takes full advantage of their location.  "Stop by for castle view."  And truly, it is the best place to get a photo of the castle.  Their cappuccino was good, too!
We asked the waitress for suggestions of things to do or see in Oban, which was our destination.  She suggested that we stop at Dunstaffnage Castle, if the weather permitted, and if we had time.  "It's lovely, though not as kept up as some of them."  It was perfect!
 We were left to our own devices, to wander and explore the ruins.  This was the castle inhabited by the MacDonalds, who were later slain by the Campbells.  (Did I mention that our Inn had a sign at the desk?  "No Hawkers or Campbells"  There's still some anti-Campbell sentiment in Glencoe.)  The Stone of Scone (a stone associated with Scottish coronations) was kept here for centuries.
The rock work fascinates me.  Just look at it!  The detail and design is so intricate, and here is stands, hundreds of years after it was first erected.  Sure, some of it has tumbled down, but much of it hasn't.
 The lookout could see anyone approaching by sea, from the safety of the castle walls.
 Once back on the road, we saw a sign that said, "Police accident."  One hundred yards later, there was a red car, in a tree.  The police do not clear accident sites, other than to remove them from the road.  It is the owner's responsibility to retrieve their car.  We were told that sometimes the cars stay there for weeks.  When that happens, pranksters will start stacking traffic cones on the cars, and they become a source of roadside entertainment.
One of the things that first caught my eye when we got to Oban was the roof lines.  (Is that the proper word?)  My husband pointed out the multiple chimneys.  Each room on each floor that has a fireplace has its own chimney.  I don't think we saw any structures with a single chimney.  SO different from home!
 Oban is a fishing village, built around a harbor.  I have pictures of sailboats and a huge tanker, and a giant ferry, and, of course, fishing boats.  I have more pictures than I know what to do with.
 Above the town is this structure called McCaig's Tower/McCaig's Folly.  (I think it depends upon whether or not you approve of it.)  You can see the boats in the foreground, the original village, the newer homes and the tower looking down on it all.  Everywhere I turned, I had to take pictures.
 The people were as interesting to watch as the buildings and skylines.  Behind me is the Fishmonger's stand.  This gentleman pulled up and dropped off some baskets of crabs, before pulling off to talk to the younger chap.
They were also having kayak races the day we were here.  I loved this child, already at home on the beach, with his slicker and galoshes. 
Oban was a delightful place to visit, and we left in time to reach Glencoe before sunset.
Such a lovely day, and so filled with rain!  Tomorrow:   Loch Ness


Barbara Sindlinger said...

Keep them coming. said...

Absolutely keep them coming! I wanna go!

Vivian Helena said...

pretty amazing all those rocks stacked, and I can't even set mine on the ground. Imagine the years and back breaking work that someone had to do... Glad you had a wonderful trip. thanks for the photos! Love seeing friends stretch and enjoy the world.. hugs, v

Sara Kelly said...

So fun to see your pix. Scotland has been on our bucket list forever. Feeling jealous but glad for you.