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Published: September 9th 2012
Following on from Killin we carried on heading West this time, through the top of the National Park on the way to the West Coast to a seaside town called Oban. Once again the scenery was amazing and the roads followed different Lochs around, through amazing bush, complete with waterfalls again, very similar to the West Coast in NZ......but the West Coast doesn't have Castles through the mist as you look across the Loch! We were following the road and came across a Loch called Loch Awe - aptly named I think as, as I mentioned, it had an actual ruin of a castle, that had been struck my lightning a few hundred years ago, sitting what looked like on a island in the middle of the Loch. I had to use all of my strength to stop Vaughn from jumping into the freezing Loch to swim over to explore it! Next to this area of the Loch was a huge hotel, which you could have said was a castle in it's own right, but you know it was probably only two hundred years old or something....nothing to write home about really...
Castles, castles and more castles on the way,
Dunstaffnage Castle was another we came across on our way to Oban. We didn't go inside, but it was a pretty cool structure from the outside. The most memorable thing here was that Vaughn managed to split the crutch of his jeans while trying to scale a wall around the castle....To those on a Scottish Castle Hunt I recommend buying the Historic Scotland Explorer Pass which costs about 23 pound....which seems steep, but the Edinburgh Castle alone is 13 pound to get into and all the other castles are at least 8 pound, so it's worth the money.
After winding our way to Oban we took a wee ticky tour around, attempting to find a decent B & B to stay in.....and somehow managed to pick the most....lets just say "basic" place in Oban.....bed bugs and I swear blood on the curtains were included in this delightful wee house, it's fair to say I lacked sleep that night.
Anyway we took a wee stroll along the esplanade and ate in an italian restuarant, which was cheap and nice. From Oban you can take the ferry to different Islands around the area including Iona, which apparently has white sand
beaches, but being poor we looked at the Islands from the seaside. We followed the coast line along and saw in the distance an epic castle up ontop of a cliff face.....yes Vaughn must climb it. Turns out it was a 6th century castle ruin called Dunollie Castle which was amazing and still mostly intact considering it's age. Unluckly for them the clan who lived there were enemies of William Wallace and sided with the Brits....Vaughn didn't hold it against them cos they had a cool castle overlooking the ocean.
While Anna and I chilled out, Vaughn thought, being a nice day, he would go for a swim in the sea.....seems they aren't lying about the freezing cold Scottish Seas....he only made it up to his waist and said he was having difficulty breathing it was so cold ......and we were there in summer!
Sitting like a halo ontop of a hill overlooking Oban is a structure that kinda looks like a coloseum.....after walking uphill for a good 10 minutes we were dissapointed to find that it was just a structure built in 1920 by a rich banker.......after seeing a 6th century castle this kinda thing really doesn't
float my boat. However it is very pretty..... it just doesn't have a story or a purpose for being there.
Our last morning in Oban included getting some really yummy pancakes for brekkie, before making our way back to Edinburgh for a final night with the Cuzzies.
Back in Edinburgh it was the last night of the Fringe Festival, so we went to see a show with the Cuzzies called Flashdance. The show was made up of performers who were all winners of different reality dance competitons on TV, like "So you think you can dance" and featured dancers from all sorts of dance styles including hip hop, irish, samba, contemporary etc and all were amazing. Especially the guys doing the contemporary style who flew through the area, flipping and contorting their bodies in all sorts of ways....very very talented. It was a great way to finish off our time in Scotland and spend more time with Nomes and Zoe.
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