Highland holiday – an Oban appreciation
AFTER a few busy months at work and cool temperatures during most of the summer and autumn, a short break was in order, writes reader Alastair MacDonald.
Alistair, from Ullapool, took a short break to the town with his choir and wrote to The Oban Times to share his experience.
Mr MacDonald said: ‘This short break from Wednesday till Saturday was an eye opener.
‘Oban was the birthplace of the Mod and this was my first experience of both Mod and Oban as a holiday destination.
‘During our journey by car we were frantically polishing our choir parts, but also absorbing the sheer beauty of hills and lochs. As the road wound through the little villages and sheltered bays, we could appreciate how specially privileged we are.
‘Oban reminded me of Funchal, only much nicer and more accessible, while the unseasonably good weather caused people to have appreciative smiles as they strolled around in summer dresses and sleeveless shirts in mid- October. Our accommodation was five star and the town offered a wide variety of food at affordable prices. Entertainment was in abundance, with the very best of Scottish talent from street performers to hotels and pubs hosting Fergie Macdonald, Skipinnish, Skerryvore, Face the West, The Vatersay Boys and a host of others, mostly for free.
‘ I was delighted to find that the Mòd is many faceted; the competitions, the nightlife, the town, the food, the friendships made and renewed ensured it was a busy few days. I was also impressed that the Mòd was inclusive; people were friendly and welcoming, appreciative, supportive and encouraging. In an age when community is fragmenting, people becoming affluent and independent, it was heart warming to be part of an extended family, the Mòd family.
‘We competed in the choir competitions and saw performances which were both inspirational and educational, yet without ego, each wishing the other competitors well and willing them on to best performance.
‘The North West of Scotland choir, Ullapool was placed the highest ever in its history. It was also the smallest choir, but was adjudicated to have good potential.
‘I hope this wee report helps to whet your appetite for the Mòd in Stornoway 2016.’