2023 HAL World Cruise
Friday & Saturday, April 28 & 29, 2023
Did you know, Scotland covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain? It is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west; the North Sea to the northeast and east; and the Irish Sea to the south. It shares a 96-mile border with England to the southeast. And then, there are the 790 islands (the archipelagos of the Hebrides and the Northern Isles) that complete the country.
Portree is on the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides.
We arrived in Portree on a overcast, dreary morning.
This is a tender port, so it took a little while to transfer to the dock.
It’s a short, pleasant walk to the center of town.
Walking along Quay St. from the dock to the downtown area, we made our plans for the day. First, geocaching; then the Portree Hotel’s Antlers Restaurant to meet friends for lunch after their tour; and then shopping as we walk back to the tender. Should be a fun day!!!
We found the first cache near the War Memorial in the center square…..
…..another along a side street in town.
We enjoy geocaching for many reasons. But one of the most rewarding aspects is that we find ourselves walking all over an area, learning about the history, the people, and their culture!!!
After geocaching, we headed to the Portree Hotel for lunch at the Antlers Restaurant.
This is a charming hotel…..
…..with a coffee bar…..
…..and a well stocked drinks bar.
Roger chose the local brew: Skye Gold; Sandy, boringly, went for her usual sauvignon blanc.
After lunch, we walked back down Quay St…..
…..and boarded the MS Zuiderdam for the sail-away to our next port, Oban.
Oban, a mainland city on the Firth of Lorn, is a resort town built around a distillery.
We arrived in Oban to another dark and dreary morning.
This is another tender port.
But it’s an easy walk into the center of town. That colosseum-looking structure you see looming over the town is McCaig’s Tower.
McCaig’s Tower, built by John McCaig, was meant to provide work for the unemployed locals as well as serve as a memorial to the McCaig family. It was never completed. The McCaig heirs stopped it by going to court and having the bequeathed funds returned to the estate!!!
However, it is the Oban Distillery, established in 1794, that provides an interesting history of Oban.
Originally settled by Neolithic cave dwellers, the town remained a quiet town centered on the distillery. But it really grew when steamships and the railway started serving the distillery. Wealthy merchants were attracted to the charming bay and they built holiday homes here.
The distillery continues to be a draw.
Tours of the Oban Distillery are offered daily. The gift shop sells not only the whisky, but also glassware and accessories.
Besides tours and souvenirs, the distillery also offers tastings.
We watched a flight pass by and decided to sign up!!!
Looks like fun!!!
And it was!!!
But there is a protocol to follow and note-taking is required!!!
We had so much fun with this, we decided to buy a three-bottle tasting kit to take home for an impromptu tasting of our own!!! Someday, we’ll let you know how that goes!!!
But for now, we moved on and took a walk along the promenade.
Eventually, we stopped for lunch at the Cuan-Mor where we enjoyed the mussels and beer!!!
And then it was time to call it a day and we headed back to the tender dock!!!
Next, we’ll visit 2 cities in Ireland!!!
We will visit 4 more ports before this cruise ends. The next 2 are in Ireland.
The next post will be about Dun Laoghaire and Cobh.
It ain’t over yet!!!
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2 thoughts on “Two Cities in Scotland: Portree and Oban”
I’d also be “boringly” going with my usual sauvignon blanc, lol! To me that’s not boring – it’s smart. Drink what you enjoy! Thanks for the blog – you do a great job at it, and I like the way you & hubby take a relaxed approach in the ports. Sue
Thank you, Sue
Your kind words are appreciated!!!