A slightly different travelogue on Glasgow and Oban on the journey in Scotland
The best ones leave us too early. Someone who is in his prime and has all his life in front of him. Sometimes destiny takes its turn and does notlead young men that are full of hope into temptation, no, but into marriage. And so it happened to my best buddy since high school who decided to agree on a life-long and exclusive reproduction-companionship with his girlfriend. He even plans to let everyone know about his fate by having a wedding party. Therefor his closest friends decided to organize a farewell party. The following article will be about a unique bachelor party, checking out Glasgow’s night life and the Hoghlands in Scotland.
We started our trip early on a November morning. The three people of our group that did not have to get married soon had a little longer trip to pick up the groom-to-be. The groom, let’s call him “Jens”, had to be picked up and taken to the airport. To Jens our destination, Glasgow, as well as the rest of the plan, were unknown. The infantile behavior of the group during the trip will stay uncommented. Until our departure towards Scotland the first beers were demolished and three quarters of the group were up for more than 10 hours by that time.
Once we reached Glasgow we picked up our rental car. A nice Peugeot 2008 was awaiting us. The perfect vehicle for us. A city-SUV offering enough space for four more or less slender guys and their luggage. Driving on the left was no problem for our designated driver, let’s call him “Lewis”. We thought the worst and most exhausting part was left behind us but then we reach the easyHotel Glasgow City.
I cannot even put in words how crappy this hotel is. A camper is a freaking palace compared to these double rooms. Not even mentioning the bath-“room”. If you have just a tiny little bit of self-esteem left and are looking for a half-humane accommodation, stay far away from this hotel. Other than the location there is nothing positive to mention about the hotel. In the end, we only spent a total of four hours in the hotel. That was enough. We got ready in record time and left.
We drew some cash from the ATM and went to the next liquor store. We checked out how forbidden it was to consume alcohol in public. Not very forbidden. Before going to the restaurant where we reserved a table for the night, we stopped for a visit at our first pub (The Lauders). We each had a beer in this authentic pub, where apparently all clichés of Great Britain were fulfilled, that should serve as a basis for the upcoming dinner (and the upcoming drinks).
For dinner, we went to The Raven. A great choice, how we should find out during the evening. The food was outstanding and served quickly. For my part, and let’s call me “Wladi”, I ate the best ribs since I had them last in Las Vegas. The service at The Raven was great and the drinks nice and cold. It was difficult during the planning phase to make out a restaurant that was not a 5-star restaurant but also not a fast-food-shack. The Raven offered the perfect ambiance for that night.
Well-fed, we only had to go on a two-minute walk to The Howlin’ Wolf. A very chic and highly frequented bar with live music. While the musician of the night, let’s call him “Matthew”, performed on the tiny stage, our performance got better with every drink we had. A group of guys wearing white shirts, bow-ties and suspenders just raises attention in a bar. We had a lot of fun and then moved on.
After another 10-minute walk we reached the club that we chose for that night – The Berkeley Suite. A little club, filled just with the perfect amount of people to have a relaxed party night. By the Live-set of Genius Of Time and the B2B of Wheelman and Ewan Chambers the room was heated up. It was not often that I met so many friendly and relaxed people in a club. Again, it was the perfect setting for that night (as the restaurant earlier that evening). We met Matthew in the club, the musician that performed at The Howlin’ Wolf, as well as a bunch of people that were curious why we were wearing bow-ties and suspenders. We on our part wanted to know what bachelor party was called in Scotland. “Stag night”. Once the party reach the climax, it was over. Curfew. We still knew that from our trip to Dublin. At 3 a.m. it was time to go home.
That wasn’t too bad though. Au contraire. Since we had a full schedule for the next day, a handful hours of sleep didn’t hurt. On top, the groom was drunk and happy and no one had to throw up. Complete success! Early in the morning we hit the road towards the coast-town Oban in the Highlands.
The only goal on the three-hour drive was to stay awake and keep driving on the left. The sun was shining when we reached our accommodation. The High Cliff Guest House seemed like heaven on earth to us. After the horror-hotel in Glasgow it really seemed like paradise. But also without making this bad experience the day before we would have been happy with the hotel in Oban. The rooms (as well as the whole house) were already convincing, but the breakfast the next morning, that we preordered the day before, just made it even better. It was mind-blowing. Great place and great hosts.
We did not have much time to waste though because we wanted to take a trip to the Isle of Kerrera and the Gylen Castle. Therefor we had to drive to the dock where the ferry leaves on Gallanach Road. Unfortunately, our day trip fell through. Not because of the starting rain but because the Kerrera Ferry doesn’t cross between 12:30 p.m. and 14:00 p.m. Inconvenient since this was the time window we would have had for the trip.
But no problem for us. We had a plan B. Carrying out plan B “Jens” had to suffer a little bit, but I guess that is necessary on a stag party. We walked up the Public Footpath to Pulpit Drive. Three of us were well and warm dressed against the wet and cold weather. The fourth person had to honor our host country by walking up in a Kilt. On top of the hill we celebrated this walk a bit and finally went back to The Oban Inn in order to drink beer. The bar was inviting and when we stepped in we noticed that we weren’t the only ones having a beer-craving – this early in the afternoon.
To reach our next destination we just had to cross the street: The Oban Distillery. In fact, the Whisky was the main reason for this trip to Scotland. The groom-to-be is a Whisky-connoisseur (or at least he thinks he is) so a tour of the Whisky distillery was a must. The tour took about one hour and we got a lot of information about the production process and about the Oban-Whisky. Very interesting and diverting. At the end of the tour we each received a Whisky glass as a souvenir and actually got to participate in a Whisky-tasting. Perfect ending to this tour.
Before going back to the hotel to recover a little, we walked to the McCaig’s Tower. The monuments’ structure was based on the Colosseum in Rome but it was never finished. From up there you have a great view over the town of Oban. After a few souvenir-pictures we headed back to the hotel to rest.
In the evening, we went to The Waterfront Fishouse that is located on the harbor. We had reserved a table, which I highly recommend – the reservation as well as the restaurant. The restaurant is a little fancier and offers all kind of fish dishes, basically directly fresh from the ocean, but also a variety of meats and salads. We enjoyed our dinner and went to have our last beer on Scottish ground at Aulay’s Bar.
Again, that was an authentic ending to our trip, that was characterized by reveling party-atmosphere on the one side but also by reflective and tranquil moments in nature on the other side. The mixture of the reveling and clubby Glasgow and the contemplative Oban turned out to be perfect for that kind of trip. A chapter in one’s life was concluded and properly celebrated and the new chapter was deliberately introduced. That was the goal of our trip and in the end, we can look back on it contentedly.
All the best for your future and your marriage, my friend. Embark on this new journey together and give your wife more than one reason to love you. Don’t forget your friends and keep good memories of our trip together. From now on a lot of new, different and nice things will come your way, but it will never be as it was in Scotland that November in 2017.