Day 187 to Day 225
26.07.2013 - 02.09.2013 18 °C
Our last month has been spent working at a Bed & Breakfast, Melfort House, 30min drive south of Oban in county Argyll, Scotland. Here we have been able to experience rather than just see a place.
Our host family was very hospitable, very informative and fed us very well. Our first weekend was very busy with the Melfort House garden open to the public. The main point of interest was Melfort House’s poly tunnel, a form of greenhouse needed in the Scottish climate to successfully grow a variety of vegetables all year round. During our stay our daily tasks were to set/clear breakfast, service the guest rooms, and cleaning of the communal areas. It was busy as August is high season; however, we were still able to go on walks and borrow the car to see some local sights.
Oban & Isle of Seil
When we needed anything, our closest shops were at Oban, a town with a population of 8,000 which has fluctuated to 25,000 during the summer. It was nice to walk around when we had not been out for a while. On the way back one time we went via the Isle of Seil, where you have to cross the Clachan Bridge to get to the isle. The bridge is 200 years old and is more commonly known as the "Bridge over the Atlantic" as you have to cross the Atlantic to get there.
Inveraray and Carnasserie Castle
One afternoon we drove to Inveraray, a place we had passed through on our way to Melfort House. It looked very good; however, once we got out of the car and walked around it was not as impressive as it had been from the bus window. We continued onward home via Lochgilphead and through Kilmartin where we decided to stop and check out Carnasserie Castle. The castle was built over 400 years ago and was home to the 5th Earl of Argyll. It was captured and partially blown up when the 9th Earl of Argyll was rebelling against James VII. It was restored and is in great condition. We got some great photos around the castle as the sun was setting.
Fort William, Ben Nevis & Glencoe
Our biggest day trip was when we travelled north to the next biggest town on the west coast, Fort William. There are many hiking tourists around Fort William as it sits beneath the UK’s highest mountain and end of the West Highland Way walk. We went for a short walk at Ben Nevis to Steall Falls. We walked along the cliff face until we came to an unexpected clearing where the waterfall appeared at the end. On our way back, we visited the MacDonald memorial at Glencoe where in 1692 the MacDonalds were massacred for not supporting the crown. Our final stop was at the pass of Glencoe, were we sat and took in the sights before making our way home.
Argyll Highland Games
During our time at the B&B, the Argyll Highland Games were on. We all took the day off and went to Oban to watch. There were standard track and field events but the throwing events consisted of only heavy throwing of objects such as Cabers (logs) and a variety of heavy weights. Other events included Highland dancing and Pipping. The weather was perfect and there was a great crowd.
We have now left Melfort House and will be traveling north and seeing the rest of Scotland over the next 10 days.