Scotland, Day 7: Travel Day, Dunchraigaig Cairn, Oban Distillery, Whisky Vaults

Several of the “Driver’s Drams” that we’ve collected, since our arrival in Scotland.

Here’s an embarrassing confession: up until very recently, I thought a “Driver’s dram” was a small amount of whisky given to drivers (meaning it was a lesser amount, versus the drams given to someone who was actually drinking at a distillery).

I don’t know where I got the notion that that was the correct definition. They are, in fact, meant to be drams “to go,” meant for the drivers who would be irresponsible and potentially dangerous if they actually imbibed and then got behind the wheel.

Liz made fun of me a lot, when I told her what I thought it meant.

An amazing thing about this larger ferry we took: the cars parked on an inclined ramp. And then the ramp lifted a boat’s length worth of vehicles so that even more cars (and trucks) could pull on board (underneath the ramp).

Big travel day today. We had an early breakfast, then made our way to the ferry at Port Ellen for the 2 hour journey back to the mainland. And from there, we had another 1.5 hours to get to Oban for a 4PM tasting.

A cozy, main area of the ferry.

On our way to Oban, we stopped to do a bit of walking and exploring at Dunchraigaig Cairn.

At a certain point, the main path dropped away and we were left to navigate the overgrown fields ourselves. A nearby farmer clearly had taken his herd through this area, or allowed his cattle to graze as there were a ton of cow pies everywhere.

It took a lot of awareness and dexterity to avoid them all.

Reader, let me tell you a secret. I was neither aware nor dexterous.

At a certain point, I was standing in a lot of grass… and thought that I might stand on a nearby rock to get a better vantage point for a photo. The rock I spotted looked a little like this.

It…. was not a rock.

And though its exterior was dry and crusty, the interior was unfortunately still very… moist. And green. And did not smell great.

I have to say – during our walk, I saw a few cow pies that had footprints in them. And I scoffed at every one of them.

But what I did? Mistaking one for a rock? I literally could not have submerged my foot any more had I tried. I literally stepped on it, fully and with intention. And I don’t know how loud I shrieked, but it was pretty damn loud.

Luckily for me, I had a second pair of shoes packed. And was able to change them out, once we got back to the car.

At Oban Distillery.

A late dinner at George Street Fish.

Don’t let these photos fool you – the streets were packed to the gills with people on holiday. I was truly unprepared for what only can be termed a “throng” of people, milling about, going from shop to shop.

I knew Oban was a tourist town, but really wasn’t expecting what we encountered. One of the first shops we passed by, on arriving, had a streetside display of various fridge magnets that had “I heart Oban” on them. Tourist town, indeed.

After the quiet and ease of Arran, Islay, and Jura… Oban was a bit of a shock to the system.

Forgot to mention: prior to dinner, Liz and I had some drinks at the beer garden, outside our hotel. We were tired from the drive, and I didn’t have the wherewithal to remember snap a few photos. Ah well.

Our room at the Whisky Vaults.

A small Covid reminder.

Scotland, Day 1: Driving to Glasgow, Dinner at The Butchershop
Scotland, Day 2: Auchentoshan Distillery, Kelvingrove Park, Dinner at Fanny Trollopes and Bon Accord
Scotland, Day 3: Glasgow Necropolis, Glasgow Cathedral, Tasting at Glen Goyne Distillery, Dinner at Stravaigin
Scotland, Day 4: Island Hopping to Isle of Arran, Lochranza Distillery, Isle of Islay, Late Arrival at Islay House
Scotland, Day 5: Bunnahabhain Distillery, Lagavulin Distillery, Dinner at Islay House
Scotland, Day 6: Bowmore Distillery, Bruichladdich Distillery, Isle of Jura, Jura Distillery

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