Monday, September 02, 2019

Scottish Adventure 7. From Mallaig via Oban to Rhu, Glasgow and south to England

We were recommended to stop at Oban, if only for the seafood
and, especially, to go to the Green Shack
at the Ferry Terminal
There are numerous seafood restaurants in the harbour area
but the Green Shack has the best recommendations, a bit like Kalkies on steroids
You WILL eat with your hands, even though plastic cutlery is provided
Fresh oysters
Crabs and lobsters
More crabs
and people enjoying their food
Our Grand seafood platter for £32.50. Scallops, a lobster, crab, langoustines, lots of mussels and fresh salmon
A glass of Chenin blanc would have been enjoyed!
Watching a young gull celebrating his flying skills after lunch
and paying a quick visit to the Oban Distillery
where one can nose the whiskies free of charge. With this long drive, no tasting
R1850 per bottle
Then a last look back to the Shack before getting back on the road
Labradors love water
Last views across the bay at Oban
and then, after another couple of hours driving, our destination at Rhu (downstairs on the right)
Next day, we went to have a look at nearby Loch Lomond. It was very wet
and grey
Balloch Castle on the opposite bank, seen through a veil of rain
Then into Glasgow and a visit to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
which has all kinds of exhibits, from the painters of the Glasgow School to an early hillclimb car with two engines
Beautiful 19th Century architecture
Lynne queued for tea and a choc donut
Classic structure
and even a Spitfire flying over stuffed animals
and so, out into the street again after a very interesting afternoon
Next day, we hit the motorway south to the Lake District, but that story is for next week
This continues our short précis of what we’ve seen and done
More detailed stories will follow in regular issues of MENU after our return to South Africa
All content ©  John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus

Scottish Adventure 6. Over the Sea to Skye

We took the 11am ferry from Mallaig
a 45 minute crossing
to Skye, where it was raining, heavily, with the streams rushing downhill
in full spate
Lovely colours in the heather
On the way to Talisker, a beautiful old stone bridge over the River Drynoch
The mountainsides are dotted with lovely old homes
Talisker, until recently the only distillery on Skye
and they still claim that they are; the two newcomers are ignored by the old firm which is owned by Diageo
A tasting glass for the very thirsty, holds about 2 litres. We tasted and the driver's doggie bottle was used again
Skye has beautiful land and seascapes round every corner
One can understand why Bonnie Prince Charlie wanted to go there, political considerations notwithstanding
A huge flock of gulls
suddenly took off across the bay
A wood near the Fairy Pools; 
Moss on the trees shows how wet the climate is on the islands
Fallen trees are a common sight
Enchanted forests
and sheep are everywhere - think of Harris Tweed
The Fairy Pools are a popular attraction, but it meant a long walk. which would have compromised our ability
to get back to the ferry on time. and wading knee deep through a river, so we took a look  passed through
A view across Kinloch Bay, looking across to the mainland
There are beautiful views everywhere
across the island
and back to the mainland
A new addition to Skye's distilleries. Torabhaig's stills were commissioned in 2016
We arrived just too late for a visit to the distillery, but met the manager who told us that the product is heavily peated
Black sheep with white tails which look very funny when they wag them
We found the old Inn at Àird a' Bhàsair
where we stopped for a snack and a pint
of Caledonia Best Bitter
The menu
and the restaurant bar
We chose a delicious chicken liver paté
and a shrimp cocktail
before catching the return ferry at Armadale
rush hour traffic
A rainbow over the mainland
and sunset through the clouds
Our cottage is in the lowest row
The sand-coloured left half of the two-toned semi
The Fisherman and Child sculpture by Mark Rogers at the entrance to Mallaig harbour
and so, we were back in Mallaig
This continues our short précis of what we’ve done
More detailed stories will follow in regular issues of MENU after our return to South Africa