Our final day in Oban

July 23, 2016 - Oban, United Kingdom

Oban has given us some wet and overcast days and some brilliant days but all of them have been enjoyable in retrospect. There have been some times when we thought we had done the wrong thing but we found places to go that avoided the worst of the Scottish summer and when we needed it the sun shone through. Today the sky was overcast but promised to be reasonable so we went for a walk up to the hill overlooking the town to visit McCaig's Tower.

Apparently McCaig was taken with Roman architecture and, in the mid 1890's, decided to build a personal monument and give some work to the unemployed at the same time. The work took several years and Mr McCaig died in 1902 before his pompous plans were completed. The structure is a bit like the coliseum albeit on a smaller scale and stands in a prominent position that gives views over the town and harbour. Our driver on the little Big Red Bus told us that when he died he had set aside money in a trust to complete the roof and to fill the arches with statues of himself, his family and his ancestors. A pharaoic vision of himself perhaps. Instead his sister contested that part of the will and the McCaig trust continues to provide scholarships for local students.

The walk up is steep but not intimidating and we paced ourselves accordingly to walk to the top. Once we had climbed the final set of steps and were breathing comfortably once more we made full use of the vantage point for photographs of Oban Bay, Kerrera and Mull. The downhill route was easier on the lungs and muscles but harder on the knees. Luckily there were places to take photos on the way rather than admit to needing a break.

An afternoon resting at the hotel and writing up the journal sounded inviting to me but Margaret was not to be tied down like that. She had booked in with a local hairdresser and wandered off for her 1pm appointment while I caught up the last couple of days in our journal. Since our trip in 2013 we have tried to keep up the journal idea which we then print into booklets with our favourite photos. We figure they will be good to look back on while we sit in our rocking chairs in the sun.

We had already decided to go back to Coast Restaurant for our last night in Oban and had booked when we left there on Thursday night. Just as a reminder of the Scottish weather it was raining as we walked back down the esplanade. Good thing Margaret had her new scarf to go with her new rain jacket and hood.

It was another outstanding meal at Coast. I had Cullen Skink (last chance and I do like it) followed by Sirloin Steak and Margaret had their Carrot and Coriander Soup and then the Lamb Rump. We had tried many of the options over the past four visits and tonight we chose our favourites, although that was a tough decision. We have tried a some French and Spanish wines from their list but came back to an Australian Shiraz Cabernet to go with the meal and then shared a Lemon Meringue Cremeux and coffee to finish the night. We have got to know the staff so well it was almost like leaving old friends when we collected our coats and forced ourselves out into the rain.

The rain had almost stopped by the time we got back to the hotel but tomorrow could bring anything. Time tonight to look through the road maps and plan a route to Falkirk for tomorrow. Perhaps we can find the sunshine and summer (intentionally with a small s in the UK case).


Black Guillemot
McCaig's Tower (or Folly)
McCaig's Tower (or Folly)
The view down the esplanade

1 Comment

Sue Bonjer:
July 24, 2016
I have enjoyed your trip to Oban and surrounds and seeing all the lovely photos. Have fun for your last week or so and sunnier weather
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