Published: January 21st 2010January 16th 2010
Despite the recent problems with the snow, I wondered if I would make it up to Scotland for the weekend. Despite slight train delays from Leeds and from my connecting train from York to Edinburgh, there were no problems!
On arrival to the hostel, I saw a travel company advertising day tours to the Highlands. I had originally planned just to stay in Edinburgh and sightsee in the city. However, I decided to take the opportunity to do a tour. I think spontaneity can be a good thing in your life sometimes. I was not too concerned about missing a day's sightseeing in the Capital as I have visited the city many times. I think I did the right thing.
Julia, a traveller from Brazil and from my dorm, was planning to go on the Loch Ness, Glencoe and Highlands Day Tour and just booked it. However, when I got to book it, the tour was sold out and instead I booked to go on the Oban and West Highlands Tour. It turned out to be a great choice in the end.
On the morning of the tour, I almost missed the tour minibus! I under estimated the
Luss, Loch Lomond
The pier at Luss.
time it took me from the hostel to the meeting point. Luckily, I made it in the nick of time!! Relief all around! There were 16 of us plus the driver/guide. We started our journey via Glasgow to Loch Lomond where we stopped at Luss. Luss is a pleasant lakeside village where you can get great views of Loch Lomond. It took some great shots despite the rain!! The we move on and climbed over the 'Rest and be Thankful' Pass where we were greeted with amazing views...shame about the rain!! But still beautiful nevertheless.
We stopped at Inveraray Castle for some photos despite the castle being closed during the winter. We stopped also at Inveraray village for views accross Loch Fyne, which is stunning of the lake itself and the mountains. We continued on via Loch Long, Loch Awe spotting Kilchurn Caslte placed in the middle of the lake. The rain stopped for us to visit Dunstaffnage Castle. I did not reckon much to the castle and could not justify the entrance fee for going in.
We eventually reached Oban where we spent a couple of hours having a late lunch. I remember my last visit to
Oban in December 1999 where I caught my train home via Glasgow, Edinburgh and York!!! It was the longest ever train journey I took in the UK!!! However, it was worthwhile for the amazing scenery between on the way down to Glasgow. I also remember the beautiful journey up to Oban from the Bute of Kintyre where I spent the Christmas holidays with family and friends.
Going back to the blog, in Oban, I treated myself to a lovely lunch at Cuan Mor
where their menus specialise in the local produce. I even tried a Gaelic coffee despite disliking whisky! It was an acquired taste but nice. It was an expensive but worthwhile treat!! It had become a popular place for some from my tour group as they were dining there. Other than having a leisurely lunch, I just strolled around the harbour area and took photos. Afterwards, it got dark and we began our long journey home to Edinburgh and stopping for comfort breaks and admiring the lit up castle in Stirling.
A great day in all and I recommend Timberbush Tours
. The tours are reasonably priced and they offer interesting trips around Scotland. Next time, I
am up in Scotland, I would like to do the tour of my first choice. It would probably be best doing the tour in the summer months where the days are longer.
There are more photos below