Friday, October 16, 2009

Oban : Gateway to the Western Isles

Decide to head west to Oban, hoping it’s not too late in the Season to get to the Isle of St Kilda. The bus drive is spectacular, past Loch Lomond
“By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes
Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond ....”

Through Inverary in Argyll, by the shores of Loch Fyne and the site of the notorious jail that transported quite a few inmates to the colonies. Check out the records:

Through small towns, past mountains, rivers and small inlets where sailing vessels bob, until finally I catch site of Oban, a small horseshoe shaped seaport where ferries chug, boats runabout and busy fishing boats support its reputation as the Seafood Capital of Scotland.

Off to the north west, isle after isle. A couple of notable man-made landmarks; Dunnollie Castle, the seat of kings for over 1200 years and home to the MacDougal clan for over 900 years and the most outstanding feature, McCaig's Tower, often called McCaig's Folly. This Colosseum lookalike stands and was built by a local banker, whose aim it was to provide work for local stonemasons and provide a lasting monument to his family. The original intention was to complete it with a large tower placed in the middle, but this, like the intended statues of McCaig's family, never materialised.

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