One part travel blog. One part nerdy history lesson.

Day 15 – Oban to Glasgow

Today we unknowingly went to the Rockies! Haha Not really but I was quite surprised to find myself in the snowy caps of the Arrochar Alps. When we were there I kept saying “it looks JUST the alps!” Having no clue the name of the mountains at the time.

We were supposed to spend today on the Isle of Mull but the ferries weren’t running due to the terrible weather around here today… (Apparantly its the coldest day of the year here today. Of course! Lol) Here is the ferry sitting in the bay. Sad.


We drove up to the top of the hill in Oban to check out McCaig’s Tower. John Stuart McCaig was a wealthy banker in the late 1800s in Oban and he was obsessed with Roman architecture so he designed this large monument with the intention of having a museum at the center and statues of him and his family inside the outer walls. Now, as narcissistic as this is, I find it hard to speak totally I’ll of him since he employed local stonemasons during the winters to complete it, therefore keeping them working. He had a grand vision for the project…it just included him at the center of it 🙂 unfortunately he died a few years in to the project and only the outer walls were completed.





   View of the city from the top




Since we basically had a whole day we hadn’t planned, we just did a “choose your adventure” day where we just shouted out things we’d like to see along the way from signs or google. 

Norah wanted to see a castle. So we saw a castle:)



Next was the Bonawe Furnace. An old iron furnace in the middle of nowhere. (Apparently I had circled it on a map a few months ago and had no recollection. Go trip-planning me! Ha)

Back in the mid 1700s this would have been a happenin’ place. They were smelting almost all of Englands iron for over 50 years. Some men from the north came and established this furnace here…which at first glance makes you scratch your head because there is hardly any iron ore in the area. They had to bring it in by ship and then out to the furnace site. But what the site did have was tons of trees and in those days they used charcoal to power the furnaces.  It took the equivalent of 2 acres of trees to create enough charcoal and energy to run the furnaces for a full day. There were about 15 men who ran the furnace operation but closer to 600 that ran the fuel operation.



     They used gravity to run the finished iron “pigs” and cannonballs down the hill on tracks that are now covered by grass


Our trip was cut a little short due to a random hailstorm out of nowhere and me falling/skiing/sliding down a muddy hill and getting totally soaked. Lol No bruised bones, only bruised pride! I saved the camera but then bonked myself in the face with it when I didn’t stick the landing Lol


Hail accumulating within just a minute or two. 


Muddy and soaking wet pants! Haha


Next we drove through a little harbor town of Inverary. Cute little town.



And then started our trek into the Rockies lol

The road was called “Rest and Be Thankful” road. No idea of the story behind that one.

Amazing views. I forgot I was in the UK for a bit! Who knew…





But with the good comes the bad, we pulled over to eat our lunch and realized we were on “trash” beach. Why would the town leave it like this??





Ended tonight in downtown Glasgow eating carry out fish and chips from the same block because both Kegan and I both managed to catch colds yesterday. Hoping it goes quick and that Norah doesn’t get it. Damn you cold and snow and rain! This is why I live in Florida. Lol


  1. Martina

    I just wanted to let you know that I have really enjoyed your blog. My sister-in-law, Leslie told me about it because I’m headed to Ireland in 24 days! I have loved reading through your days and thinking about what I want to do while I’m there!! I’m also from Indiana but live in Florida now!

    • Erin McKinney

      Oh wow! Us, too 🙂 glad you liked it! What part of Florida?
      Have a blast and get a small car! Haha

      • Martina

        I’m originally from Greensburg, but just moved to Gainesville about 1.5 years ago! I don’t miss the snow! Your blog is getting me so excited for my trip!! I do have a question though, these SIM cards you bought for the phone, did you just buy it at any old store, and do they work on Iphones? Now that we have a plan ticket, a car (a very tiny car for which we are going to get some serious insurance), and a hotel for our first night, our next priority to get straightened out is the data plan!!

        • Erin McKinney

          Well phones can get tricky. If you have an iPhone- do you have AT&T? Phones have to be unlocked and AT&T won’t unlock then within the first two years of your contract. But…. I have a website that will unlock it for you…for $80…. But once it’s unlocked- you just buy a $15 euro SIM card and you have unlimited texts calls and data for a month

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