30.8.16

Islay and Oban: Part 2 Oban

Oban sunset

So, my 16.10 arrival at Oban was dramatic, with a sudden heavy downpour after a pleasant day's sailing. Luckily there was a Wetherspoons on the quay, The Corryvreckan, so I sheltered there for a while to check out the Pokemon situation. After it eased off, I found a cashpoint and wandered over to the Royal Hotel, one of those hotels popular with coach parties, and had seen better days. I was in Room 218 with a view out the back.

The Green Shack

I went back out to the harbour and, tempted by a free hot mussel, ordered a £3.95 portion from the famous green shack, eating them in the rain, under an umbrella - not easy! Then it was back to Wetherspoons for another pint and, after watching the sun set, back to the hotel for a £5 tot of Oban.

Wethespoons

On Sunday, after a breakfast of beans, fried egg and potato scones, with tea served quickly by unflustered staff, I made my way to the distillery, where I showed my classic malts passport and got a free tour. The distillery is much smaller than Laphroaig, with half the stills - I did learn that the yeast came from Hull. At the end of the tour we got to sample 13-year old whisky, then the 14-year old in the shop, where we got another free glass. I used my £5 off voucher to buy a bottle, for £40. There was no photography allowed on the distillery tour. They have a tasting bar open until 6.30 serving wee drams for a bargain £3 a shot.

Oban Distillery

I dropped off the bottle at the hotel, checked out the free wifi in the lounge bar, then walked to the harbour. There was a big queue at the Green Shack, so I tried the Fishhouse upstairs, where they were doing a two-course lunch deal for £13.99. I had smoked haddock chowder and roasted local coley on a bed of prawn and leek risotto, washed down with a local beer - Skelpt Lug dark ale!

Purple Heather seal boat

I'd been debating whether or not to go on the boat to see the seals, but as the rain had stopped  I just had time to get there by 2pm, just as they were casting off. It was £10 and we headed for the steam ship monument, past the 1950s cathedral and finally to a rock full of seals. We also saw a pair of sea eagles and an M&S salmon farm.

 Seals

After a pint at Wetherspoons (Sirius Dog Star) and a portion of chips with curry sauce, I wandered back to the hotel to find a keyboard and accordion duo playing for a coach party of Canadians. Then from nowhere, entered a very loud piper! marching up and down swinging his kilt!

Free beer in 1st class

Monday, it was an early start to get the 8.57 train to Glasgow, another scenic journey. I walked from Queen Street, past Robert Peel, to Central where I had a longish wait in the Virgin First Class Lounge! Yes my £46.20 ticket back to Brighton was first class! I had two cappuccinos (from a machine), loads of biscuits and popcorn and played Pokemon until it was time to board my delayed train (floods near Preston). On board I had free cans of beers (Wreckless), a dry tuna salad and lots of pretzels. The Gatwick Express at Victoria was late too, and when I got back to Brighton there was an hours wait for a Seaford train, so it was a taxi home!

  Tickets home

More photos on Flickr.

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