Oban – which came first?

The whisky or the women? Well, the whisky of course, the women (and the men) followed later. The town grew up around the distillery which was established in 1794. It is now a resort town with as many as 25,000 visitors every year and is known not only for whisky but is sometime known as the Seafood Capital of Scotland and the Gateway to the Isles. Here is a lovely view if it from the sea.

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In the background (the Colosseum lookalike) is McCaig’s Tower which can also be clearly seen dominating the view in this next piece of original art work. Sadly not signed but clearly labelled Oban and executed in pen and ink. It only cost £3.99. An absolute bargain for such a fine piece of drawing.

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2 thoughts on “Oban – which came first?

  1. Ah, Oban, I know it well…gateway to the isles, but a fine old place in its own right. We stayed – fourteen of us – near Pulpit Hill once just at the south end of and above the harbour in a large, old house and a wee view point five minutes down the road was from where I loved watching the ferries come and go, especially at night time. We also walked the small island of Kererra, a 5 minute ferry journey across the Firth of Lorne, heard a cuckoo on the breeze as we sailed and marvelled at the carpets of golden, wild iris that flanked the paths and burns. We ate oysters washed down with some rough, white wine at the marina restaurant, drank ale in one of the smallest pubs I’ve ever been in, listening to fishermen and ferrymen banter and curse. There is a fish shop in Oban called ‘Willy Fish’ which amused us all no end in that carefree, childish way you can sometimes feel when on vacation. Any ferry port is an evocative place – it’s history of ferrying to and from the islands, fishing and wildlife all enough to send the imagination into overdrive. All those universal human emotions that have become engrained in the psyches of any population that depends upon the sea and those who sail it are there to witness and sense in the old port of Oban. Then there’s its whisky – a demanding experience for the palate, but one that is richly rewarding to the discerning, respectful and persistent. This picture depicts a part of the harbour I remember well, from where my daughter and I took a ride on a wee boat, captained by a gruff old boy, to look for seals. We saw one, just its head bobbing above the surface, eyes like black marble discs looking towards us. The man on the quay with whom we booked the trip was named Gordon Brown and I had his phone number in my contacts list for some time after. When we returned to the house after our trip, we told everyone we had just met Gordon Brown, and to prove it showed them his number.

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