Views of Oban and a recap of a few restful days spent staying at the seafood capital of Scotland. There’s plenty of walking to keep up an active lifestyle here as well as much delicious seafood to be had! You’ll find plenty of pictures of both, the views of Oban and the seafood we ate here.
Lynne and I always seem to be on some kind of holiday when the voters of the UK go to the polls to decide on a major decision which could affect the future of all its citizens. That turned out to be no more so than on this trip.
As we walked about admiring the pretty views of Oban, we found ourselves pondering and discussing the potential ramifications of the result of the UK’s overall vote to leave the E.U.
It was the same 2 years ago when we were on our holiday in Wales. Then, there was a decision for the people of Scotland to vote for or against independence from the U.K.
And, four years previous to that, whilst on holiday in Gibraltar in the aftermath of the crisis of the stock market crash and world banks going bust, the U.K. voted in its first coalition government to come from the outcome of a general election.
Now, you may ask where I am going with all this. As you know, here at neilshealthymeals, I don’t take a political stance on whats happened, what’s happening and where we may be going and, I’m pretty sure you’re glad of that!
However, as I took the below pictures of the views of Oban, it was good for Lady Lynne and I to talk about how we’ve managed to adjust with the outcomes of whatever political decisions that have been made, such as with our jobs and finances. Sometimes we’ve been able to take advantage of opportunities that have been available too, making our lives better and more enriched.
So, I wanted to start on a positive note, as that’s the theme I try to put over when I’m writing here.
Whatever happens with the future of Scotland and/or the U.K. there will be opportunities to prosper. It’s just a case of being ready for them and of not letting them pass by.
I’ll talk about those opportunities more in the future, and how you might use examples of what we’ve done in your own lives, following the 80/20 principles, but for now let’s admire the stunning views of Oban!
Stunning Views Of Oban
It was disappointing that Scotrail were on strike and a replacement bus service was in operation for this trip to and from Oban. The three hour railway journey from Glasgow normally provides some stunning views of the lochs and glens you pass along on the way.
So, unfortunately the rail journey wasn’t to be for this particular trip to Oban but it’s back on the bucket list for future!
Oban was once just a sleepy fishing village on the west coast of Scotland until the coming of steamships and the railway. (Just as well it doesn’t rely on the railway solely now! 😉 )
Oban then developed rapidly in the late 19th Century and is now mainly a resort and transit town, still retaining its ferry links to the Scottish Islands of Mull, Colonsay, Coll, Tiree, Lismore, Barra and South Uist.
The map above shows where we stayed, The Old Manse Guest House. It was fantastic. Run by an extremely friendly couple, Anna and Simon, it’s set in a quiet back street of Oban.
We had a double room with adjoining family room so plenty of space for our rucksacks!
Plus, every morning there was an amazing selection of breakfast delights ranging from traditional porridge, pancakes and smoked mackerel to a full Scottish breakfast.
On arrival, last Thursday afternoon, as the weather was in our favour, Lady Lynne and I took a stroll along Oban sea front prior to our 7.00pm dinner booking.
You can read all about the food below.
Friday was a bright, but showery day . The views of Oban above show Oban Distillery in the foreground and McCaigs Tower high on Battery Hill in the background. Built in 1897 by local banker John Stuart McCaig, the aim of the tower was to provide work for local stonemasons and a lasting monument to the McCaig family.
My mum and dad, Jennie and Neil (our Australian relatives who were on tour in Scotland at this time) came through to meet us in the afternoon. We had a light lunch and then did the Oban Distillery tour. I got a bottle of Oban 14 year malt whiskey, which was a birthday present Lynne’s mum had promised for me, when I was there.
These views of Oban seen here show the old North Pier Clock Tower. Steamers used to dock here until the need for a purpose built dock and a car ramp for the more modern vessels.
You can get some fantastic panoramic views of Oban bay from Pulpit Hill, which is where we walked up next. The modern car ferry terminal to Mull that I mentioned above can be seen here in the foreground
If you look at the more expanded view at the very top picture of this post, you can see the North Pier Clock tower centre left.
Above is the view over to Mull from Pulpit Hill. The car ferry seen above was one of the normal 10 sailings a day to Mull.
Views of Oban Harbour here are seen from McCaigs Tower which you can also climb up to. Here also you can see over to Mull, the route of the ferry being marked out through the gap and then by turning right.
The Ferry to Colonsay is seen here, again the view from McCaigs tower, waiting for the Mull Ferry to leave so it can dock.
Lady Lynne and I were very lucky with the weather. The stunning evening sunshine, looking up at McCaigs Tower from the centre of Oban, really makes the Victorian buildings stand out.
We managed to accomplish all of the walking and site seeing we had planned to do. I think that was just as well when you come to look at all the amazing food we had. The walking provided an ideal way to aid digestion between meals! 🙂
Views of Oban – The Food
Lady Lynne kindly reminded me this time on holiday to actually photograph the superb food we were having before we started eating it!
I’m glad that she did reminded me so that I’m able to show you some of the best quality seafood that the world has to offer. All fresh from Scotland!
So our first seafood restaurant was EE Usk on the Friday night. A huge menu of seafood delights to choose from. And a pretty difficult choice as you can imagine. There’s a fishing fleet in Oban, so everything is really THAT fresh!
For starters we both shared a plate of the local mussels cooked in wine and garlic butter. These were cooked to perfection.
For mains I had Oban caught Dover sole in a butter and lemon sauce with leek mash and salad. This was cooked on the bone, which I had no problems removing.
When I was younger, this would have put me off the meal altogether. Ah how times change…….
Lady Lynne had the dressed crab with chips and salad.
Moving on to the Friday evening. This rather excited chap above (yours truly 😉 )was at the Oban Fish and Chip Shop having the famous Fish Tea Special. A traditional battered cod with mushy peas, home made tartar sauce and fresh cut chips. And a side of bread and butter with a cup of tea. This is a real traditional Scottish chippie!
I’d been wanting to come here for years, ever since Rick Stein came here and said these were the best fish and chips he had ever tasted! Mission accomplished.
In fact did I ever tell you that I’ve always loved Rick Stein’s cooking? And, this year we are heading down to Cornwall, to Padstow in September to visit the first restaurant he opened. I cannot wait!
Our final foodie fest was at the Waterfront Fishouse Restaurant on the Saturday evening. Both of us had caught the sun, whilst walking around Oban, particularly on this day. Lynne is managing to hide her sunburnt arms pretty well here.
My starter was pigeon breast wrapped in pancetta with a rich tomato sauce to accompany. Why did I choose pigeon breast? Well, it has such a unique taste, that I love, plus it’s not something that Lynne would allow me to cook at home.
I did once personally gut and feather a pigeon though, and make a pigeon casserole. It turned out OK, but it was a huge amount of effort for such a small bird. I made the decision then to let others cook it for me!
Lynne enjoyed Oysters for the first time here at the Waterfront Fishhouse Restaurant. They were grilled with pesto rapeseed dressing.
For mains I had char grilled Isle of Mull Scallops served with parmesan and basil mash with a slow roasted tomato and smoked garlic sauce. Are you salivating yet? 🙂
And finally, Lynne had the Moo and Blue Burger which was a gourmet steak burger on a pretzel bun served with balsamic onion confit and blue cheese, salad and fries.
So tell me? What was your favourite / which one(s) of the above would you choose?
Folks, thanks for joining me today for the start of the summer blog schedule of one post per week.
I need to perform some essential blog maintenance over the coming weeks so bare with me. It’s all part of making the web site faster, and better. And bringing some older posts up to date.
I’m not going away though, and there will be a new salad recipe next Thursday, which will hopefully bring on some decent summer weather too (famous last words 😉 ).
So until then take care and enjoy your weekend! Oh and be sure to check out Thursday’s thinking out loud. Thanks Amanda!
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