Oban, Scotland or ‘Is This a Vacation?’

Oban Moon

Oban Harbor, On Vacation

 

Continuing our practice of alternating between large cities and small towns on our European tour, from Glasgow we next headed for the small town of Oban, Scotland.  While some scotch drinkers will recognize this a a brand name, most have likely never heard of this fishing village/tourist town on the west coast of Scotland.  The scotch distillery is right in the middle of town.  Along with my goal of tasting the local cuisine of where we visit, I went for my first scotch tasting here.  I am no expert and that may be a good thing, both physically and financially.

Apparently you add water to the cheaper, less aged scotches, generally 12 years and less.  The expensive scotches, 25 years and up, are consumed undiluted and are very smooth by comparison.  After buying a bottle of 25 year old scotch, the first thing one needs IS a drink, as these are certainly over $100 and easily over $200.  At least that is the price conversion in Scotland. I may have to price check that upon my return to the States.  Anyway, the one photo below shows the scotches from a tasting that included Oban scotch.

 Is This a Vacation?

At this point in the European tour, or maybe even earlier, it became clear to us this is not a vacation….  Typically a ‘vacation’ or ‘holiday’ as it is called in the UK,  is a short trip away from home or work and often involves visiting family.  Well, we are home-free so we are always away from home, we do not work and have no family in Europe, so can we be on vacation?  A better definition of vacation may be a time of complete change from your normal routine.  That definition would allow a retired person to say they are going on vacation and a working person to be on vacation even if they simply stayed home.  For a working person who is taking five days off beginning Monday and their air flight is Monday morning, their vacation begins Monday morning.  However, if they left on Saturday, their vacation would begin on Saturday.  Traveling around Europe for six months IS our normal lifestyle.  We spend days planning our travels upon our return to the States, monitor finances, crave and search for American news, do laundry, grocery shopping, work on photography and this WEB site.  Sometimes, we just relax (do nothing) around whatever condo we are renting.  We cannot constantly be as active as a typical tourist on a ten day vacation.  All of this is to say, we could have done more in Oban, but we mostly relaxed.

The Harry Potter train below was seen outside of Oban, on the way to Isle of Skye, our next destination.

Harry Potter Train

Harry Potter Train

Oban Harbor

Oban Harbor

Oban Flowers

Oban Flowers

Oban Scotch Tasting

Oban Scotch Tasting

Oban Red Boat

Oban Red Boat

2 thoughts on “Oban, Scotland or ‘Is This a Vacation?’

    • Tasting scotch is definitely interesting. First you need to determine if you like the taste of peat, which is decomposed plant material like mosses. This is burned while drying the wheat when making scotch. If they use a lot of peat, you get the smokey, peat taste. So you start with a strong peat scotch and one with little peat and see which you like….. After that you can start testing different ages, like 10, 18 and 25 years old. After all that, you need to have someone drive you home.

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