At random with Martin Laing week 27

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A beautiful place

I was on holiday last week and didn’t I strike lucky with the weather?

I decided to spend the week as a tourist, doing some of the things visitors travel here to experience – and I had just the best time.

The week started with one of the new walking tours, hosted by the ever-engaging Kay McDonald, whose love of Oban is almost palpable. It turned out to be a great way to spend a couple of hours, and I’d recommend it as something everyone should try whether local or a tourist.

We were then blessed with a stunning day for a trip to Iona. To sit outside the abbey in the sunshine with a picnic and a view to die for made it a memorable day.

Talking of lunches, we called at Gordon MacGillivray’s seafood shack on Railway Pier one day. I can highly recommend the crayfish salad but, again, the setting is brilliant, sitting right on the edge of the bay.

One of  the highlights of the week, however, was a visit to Kerrera. We took the short boat ride from Gallanach over to the island and walked to the southern tip of the island to see Gylen Castle and to lunch at the lovely Tea Garden. The menu might not have been very extensive but the food was good, the service was excellent and the setting very pretty.

Markie Dans’ also hit the spot with its weekend music festival. Once again, to be able to sit outside in the sunshine while listening to live music and enjoying the great view was a bit special.

This really is a great part of the world.

Where are the cars?

All the new parking meters in Oban seem to be operational but the new regime has left me puzzled.

Where are all the cars now? Gallanach Road, Corran Esplanade and the  Lochavullin Road car park used to be chock full of parked cars until charging was introduced. Now they are virtually empty. So where are they all now?

What do you think?

Write to me at or The Oban Times, Crannog Lane, Oban, PA34 4HB, or call 01631 568021.