Turas Fada (Long Journey)

Well, I finally arrived in Oban about an hour ago. It’s dark, it’s raining, and I’m about 3.5 hours late. I was hoping to see a bit of the town while it was still light, but at least I made it here. My trip from Bangor to Glasgow went smoothly, with most of the trains being on time and not too crowded. Things went a bit off the rails after that.

Oban / An t-Òban
The view from my hotel room on Sunday morning

When I arrived at Glasgow Queen Street station, I discovered that the train I was supposed to take to Oban was cancelled. Fortunately there was another, although I had to wait 2 hours, and it was late arriving in Glasgow, so more like 2.5 hours. It was a nice sunny day, though a bit windy, so I had a wander, sat in a café for a bit, did some work, and then we were off.

George Square, Glasgow
George Square, Glasgow

While I was waiting, I heard that the ferry from Mallaig to Armadale on Skye that I was planning to take tomorrow will not be sailing due to bad weather. So I had to find an alternative route. Fortunately there is a bus from Oban to Broadford on Skye (two buses, actually), and I’ve arranged a lift from there. If everything works out, I should be at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig by tomorrow afternoon.

Tyndrum / Taigh an Droma
Tyndrum / Taigh an Droma, where I changed buses

I’ve applied for compensation for my cancelled train from Glasgow to Oban, so might get some money back from that.

While I have a driving licence and could have rented a car (I don’t own one and never have), I prefer to travel by train, even though there are often delays, cancellations and other shenanigans.

One thing I like about travelling by train, or other public transport, is that you often overhear conversations in a variety of languages. Today, for example, I heard conversations in English, Welsh, Thai, French, Cantonese, Mandarin and German. There may have been other languages that I didn’t recognise as well.

One thought on “Turas Fada (Long Journey)

  1. Simon, you mentioned, “I have a driving licence”. In Michigan, the official State of Michigan name of the card we get to allow driving is called a “driver license”, but everyone I ever heard (for like forever) has called it a “driver’s license”. And yes, “our” license has only one C in it. And unlike some states that issue licenses from a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), we get ours from the Michigan secretary of state.

    A subtle reminder that the English language is anything but standardized.

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