[Aug. 2010] On the first day of the bus tour of Highlands and Islands in Scotland, we stayed in Oban, a port town in the west.
On the way there, the bus ran through the magnificent nature of Scotland, where we encountered a herd of Highland Cows.
This was very lucky!
It’s the first time I’ve seen so many herds.
These hairy cows were so charming.
They have long horns and long hair to withstand the harsh climate of Scotland.
They can dig snow with their horns and find foods, apparently.
And it is said that they have the toughness of eating grass that other cows do not eat.
When pronounced by Michael, our guide from Edinburgh, Highland Cow was sounded like “Healand Coo.”
Now, we arrived at Oban.
The weather was perfect with the deep blue sky, completely different from the rain this morning.
This tour did not include the hotels in the tour price.
However, when you apply, you will be asked what grade of accommodation you would like to stay in (B & B, 3 stars, 5 stars, etc.) and the tour company will make a reservation accordingly.
Therefore, the tour members stay in different accommodations in the same town.
For those of us who had applied for a 3 star hotel, the Kimberly Hotel was booked for the night.
This was a very good hotel.
The location was great and the view from the big windows was lovely.
The room was spacious, too.
The cheerfulness of the hotel lady was a little overwhelming, but that’s a trivial matter.
The service was also good.
After check-in, we were free to walk around Oban.
When we went outside, I found that the hotel was located on a gentle hill surrounding the bay.
At the top of this hill was the McCaig’s Tower, a folly built around 1900.
Folly is an English word that means “foolishness” or “stupid big architecture”, and this tower was exactly that.
It’s a fairly expensive Roman Colosseum-style building, and its design was not matched with either Oban or Scotland.
However, according to the guidebook, Mr. McCaig, a great local man, built it to give a job to local unemployed masons, so there was a meaning for building it.
The view from this tower was worth a visit.
Backlit at this time of the evening, islands and ships floating in the bay cast shadows over the sparkling sea.
That evening, we had our dinner at a restaurant, Waterfront which was a simple restaurant facing the bay as the name implies.
This trip was blessed with seafood and I was very satisfied with this dinner as well.
I ate raw oysters as a starter and crabs and scallops as a main course (sorry for not having a photo).
By the way, Oban is called “Scottish Seafood Capital” apparently.
The view of the dusk after leaving the restaurant was also wonderful.
There is a Scotch whiskey distillery named “Oban” in Oban, and the development of the town in recent years seems to be due to this distillery, but unfortunately we did not have the opportunity to go there this time.
Instead, we drank a glass of “Oban” at an unremarkable pub and returned to the hotel.