October 13-14, 2001
There are no "must see" tourist sights in Oban, but a large stretch of the bus ride from Glasgow to Oban through mountains, castle ruins and legends ranks it the most scenic I've ever taken.
Oban is though, one of those exciting places because it is a launching point of history and modern day adventures alike. The ruins of at least two castles are within walking distance, there are boats of all sizes setting out to the isles and just a bit more north lies what is said to be the most beautiful place in the world: the Scottish Highlands.
I'm on my way to find my mother with her friends taking a Celtic holiday two islands off the coast of Scotland. (Luckily the recent anti-American terrorism hasn't flinched their journey) I find there's only one bus across the large island the next day, but an old Scot tells me I can make it early... just hitch hike from the ferry boat - he's always been able to get a ride when wearing his tartan beret.
Most of my time in Oban was spent away from, but within view of the center, around the remains of Dunollie Castle. There's a white bearded man looking across the water from the war memorial along the way. I take refuge in the ruins. An abandoned castle, a remote view to sea out to an island that inhabits my mother defines, in miniature, what Scotland is to me.