Well it’s all been a bit quiet around here recently what with the LC being super busy getting all the summer stuff organised etc. However, our Summer Reception Officer, Craig Scott, has taken some time out of his busy schedule to write a report about one of the staples of our summer reception programme, the Oban Trip!
With the promise of a glorious day of sun, and the time a little after 8am we set off from Glasgow, travelling by train, on the long and winding track which would take us to the fishing town of Oban. A few slept, but for many this was a chance to get a coffee, and sit back and relax, taking in the spectacular views of lochs and mountains, as the train snaked towards our destination.
The annoyance of a screaming child wasn’t enough to dampen spirits, and when we stepped onto the platform, the sun was shining brightly, making sunglasses, shorts and sunscreen the order of the day. Rather unusual for Scotland, but much welcomed. We set off to the hostel to dump our stuff, taking in the fresh sea air, and enjoying being outside the city, after a long week of work. Our first stop was McCaig’s tower, a structure which overlooks the town and provides beautiful views far and beyond. We were there after a short ascent, and with hardly a cloud in the sky, it was the perfect opportunity for photos – not only for the views, but also so there was evidence that the sun does sometimes come out here!
Hunger was now beginning to set in, and so we made our way down to the harbour to indulge in some wonderfully fresh seafood, with scallops proving to be particularly popular. The next logical stop was for ice cream, but after this there was no definite plan for the day – instead it was free to be enjoyed, however people wished, with a number of options available. Some took in a tour at Oban’s quaint whisky distillery, learning about its production, having a taste and getting the opportunity to buy souvenirs to take home. Another popular location was Dunollie Castle, the sight of one of IAESTE Scotland’s more interesting adventures the previous year, but thankfully there was no similar drama to follow, just laughs, fun and photos.
The beach however proved to be the most popular, with some spending almost the whole day here, whilst others arrived later, to enjoy the mid-afternoon sun. Some chose purely to relax and enjoy the weather, whilst others (maybe in the Olympic spirit) took to the sand for some beach volleyball. Many also decided to go for a swim, though unsurprisingly us Scottish folk stayed out of the sea, knowing only too well that the sun in the sky doesn’t correspond with the water being warm. This was something many soon found out, with shrieks and cries proving that it was a bit cold!