Scotland Series – Day 5 (Part 2)

After our delicious brunch at Oban Chocolate Company (hear about that here!), we decided to brave the rain and venture out to Dunollie Castle for a little history and sightseeing.

There’s not much left of the original, but it’s still a beautiful structure, and it’s cool to think about how they lived when it was occupied. Their website is really beautiful, too, so it’s a great source if you’re interested in more info about the castle, museum, conservation efforts, and the Clan MacDougall.

Also, this view! The fog lifted long enough for us to get a beautiful view of Kerrera.

The above Celtic cross was in honor of the 29th Clan Chief and contains the clan crest and motto.

We were the only Americans on this tour. I try to be extremely self-aware and respectful of others when I’m in public; I feel like a lot of people are neither of those things, so usually I get really irritated by one person (at the least) on a group tour. But to my delight (and surprise), everyone was great. No one was talking while the guide talked, no one was jumping in front of other people, people were polite. Americans need to learn a few things. Just sayin’.

Before you reach the castle, there’s the 1745 House Museum which was made from the castle’s stone.

It’s really fun to walk through the rooms of the house and see the different collections. My favorite was the kitchen! Be sure to ask them about the vacuum cleaner 🙂

It’s also worth it to walk around the castle and museum grounds. Even in the rain it’s gorgeous!



We had to walk back to our accommodations to get ready for the ceilidh, which was a couple miles, and the rain started coming down pretty steadily. By this time I was a little tired of wet jeans (don’t you hate that feeling on your legs?!) and got a little grumpy. And yes, I realize the irony of being whiney versus what I wrote above about being an obnoxious American. 😊

On a positive note, this North Face jacket was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. It was only $40 at The North Face outlet in Charleston.

The ceilidh was that night and we were encouraged to dress up. We had dinner at our hostess’s parents’ house and then headed to the party. I wish I could share pics of the music and Scottish dances, but most of the students are in them, so privacy issues.

Although there was a DJ, they also had a band with traditional Scottish instruments, including a bagpipe, who played the more traditional Scottish tunes. Our dancing lessons came in handy at this point, and we even learned several other dances on-the-spot which was fun and absolute chaos.

I was really impressed with our American kids. I’m not sure if it’s still this way, but I remember guys and girls being super weird at this age when it came to dancing together. What I also thought was extremely interesting (and so refreshing) was that the Scottish guys were totally ok dancing as partners. I think we push guys to be so “manly” (what does that even mean??) in America that they would’ve died before dancing with each other. It would be awesome to see some of that in our own culture.

A huge thanks to Oban for throwing such a fun ceilidh! I’m considering having some traditional Scottish tunes at our wedding…do you think people would actually join in on some partner dances?

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Scotland Series – Day 11 – Biscotti and a Ph.D.

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