13) Catching up #1: Fairwell Isbjorn

Written Saturday, June 24, posted Sunday, July 2 (I’ve been distracted).

I’m riding on a train passing through Scotland’s beautiful highland countryside.  I’ve left fair Isbjorn and the high seas behind me.  I’ll be in Glasgow in about 3 hours, and then Edinburgh (pronounced ‘Edinbura’) later this afternoon. 

Isbjorn’s arrival in Scotland was nothing less than magical.  We had sited land multiple times during the night both to the right- the northern most islands of Ireland, and to the left- Scotland.  I came off watch at 4 a.m. and asked Mia to wake us when we neared the channel we would follow up to Oban.  So, at around 6:30 a.m. we were all awoken by the full volume of Isbjorn’s speakers playing Lemon Jelly’s “Nice Weather for Ducks”, which sounded strange but entirely appropriate, this being Andy’s signal that we were nearing the end of our journey.  For the next hour and a half, coffee in hand, we sailed silently through the Highland fog and mist, weaving between the steep sided islands which were dotted with sheep, castle ruins and farm houses, and with that marvelously ancient looking creature- the Highland Cow.  

At last we cruised down the channel to the Oban Marina where we docked, shook hands all around, and cracked open the champagne, finishing off 2 bottles before heading into Oban for breakfast. 

Atlantic crossing complete.     8 a.m.-  Thursday, June 22.

Oban is a beautiful town in the Scottish Highlands.  Her origins are in fishing, but the fish have just about played out in this part of the North Atlantic, so Oban now makes her way as a tourist town.  She is home to the Oban Whiskey Distillery, where they make the world famous Oban Whiskey single malt scotch.  After arrival on Thursday, I spent 2 final nights aboard Isbjorn, enjoying Oban and the Scotish Highland countryside before boarding this train for Edinburgh.

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