April 29, 2024

A Rainy Day Exploring

Woke up to a very rainy and cold day and after a nice Scottish breakfast at Coasters in Oban we headed out to Glencoe, more as a reconnaissance mission than to hike or tour around.  The town of Ballachulish sits right before the visitors center for the Scottish National Trust for Glencoe. They present a lovely 10 minute film on Glencoe which makes one want to visit later in the year and hike around. It is an amazing geological area, bursting with amazing color and light and truly one of the most beautiful places in the Highlands.  It is perhaps best known because of the massacre which occurred in 1692 when the Campbells attacked the MacDonalds who had been offering hospitality to the soldiers for days before they massacred them!  

After Glencoe we headed to Dunstaffnage Castle on the way back to Oban. It is closely tied to the Lords of the Isles and I had visited the castle before but still found it a fascinating place.  Sadly, the area around the castle is now commercial and looking out across the harbor instead of birlins you see yachts and fishing boats.  It is not difficult, however, to imagine what this was like in the 1300’s especially when standing atop the castle wall.  A walk through the woods led us to the chapel built in a setting that reminded me of a scene from the Lord of the Rings. The ruins of the chapel blend into the surrounding landscape and bring you back to a time long past.  While the rain kept up all day, and I was chilled to the bone when we returned to the hotel, it was still a lovely Scottish experience.