Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • HI. I'M RICK STEVES, GLAD TO BE YOUR TRAVEL PARTNER AGAIN

  • AS WE ENJOY MORE OF THE BEST OF EUROPE.

  • THIS TIME, IT'S A WEE BIT OF WONDERFUL SCOTLAND.

  • WHERE LEGENDS OF BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE

  • SWIRL AROUND LONELY CASTLES.

  • WE'LL PONDER THE BIRTHPLACE OF CHRISTIANITY IN SCOTLAND,

  • TOSS A FEW CABERS,

  • AND WATCH TRADITIONAL DANCING AT HIGHLAND GAMES,

  • DISCOVER DARK SECRETS IN THE WEEPING GLEN...

  • THEY STARTED TO KILL THE MEN.

  • ...SAMPLE SOME FINE SCOTCH,

  • AND ENDURE A LITTLE PIPING.

  • CROWNING BRITAIN IN THE NORTHWEST OF EUROPE,

  • SCOTLAND WELCOMES VISITORS.

  • FROM THE TOWN OF OBAN,

  • WE CRUISE TO THE ISLES OF MULL AND IONA,

  • THEN FOLLOW THE CALEDONIAN CANAL TO GLENCOE,

  • LOCH NESS,

  • AND ON TO CULLODEN.

  • OBAN, THE GATEWAY TO THE ISLES,

  • IS A BUSY LITTLE FERRY TERMINAL,

  • A CLASSIC SCOTTISH PORT TOWN,

  • JUST THE PLACE TO MUNCH FRESH SEAFOOD.

  • YOU WANT A WEE BIT OF THIS?

  • I'LL HAVE A CUP OF COCKLES, PLEASE.

  • CUP OF COCKLES?

  • THAT'S RIGHT.

  • THESE ARE COOKED WITHOUT SALT.

  • ALL RIGHT.

  • MIGHT WANT TO PUT A BIT OF SALT,

  • VINEGAR, BLACK PEPPER.

  • THE WIND, BOATS, GULLS, LAYERS OF ISLANDS

  • AND THE PROMISE OF A WIDE-OPEN ATLANTIC BEYOND

  • GIVE OBAN A SHIVER-AND-BUSTLE VITALITY.

  • THE COLISEUM OVERLOOKING OBAN WAS THE INSPIRATION

  • OF A LOCAL TYCOON IN 1900.

  • HE WANTED TO EMPLOY WORKERS

  • AND BUILD HIMSELF A FINE MEMORIAL.

  • A HIKE TO ITS PEACEFUL GARDEN IS REWARDED WITH A GRAND VIEW.

  • OBAN'S COMMERCIAL DISTRICT IS LITTLE MORE

  • THAN THE STREET ALONG THE HARBOR.

  • EAGER TO PLEASE ITS MANY VISITORS,

  • YOU'LL FIND LIVE FOLK DANCING NIGHTLY

  • AND WOOLENS AND TWEEDS PERPETUALLY ON SALE.

  • TOMORROW WE'RE SAILING TO THE ISLE OF MULL

  • AND HISTORIC IONA.

  • FOR TODAY, I'LL EXPLORE MY OPTIONS AT THE TOURIST OFFICE.

  • THERE'S PLENTY GOING ON.

  • THE "WHAT'S ON" BOARD LISTS PIPING ON THE HILLTOP,

  • FOLK DANCING,

  • AND LAWN BOWLING.

  • GOOD TRAVELERS MAKE A POINT TO GET OUT

  • OF THE "MUSEUM-AND-CASTLES" RUT AND INTO DAILY LIFE.

  • OH, LOVELY BALL!

  • THE OBAN LAWN BOWLING CLUB HAS WELCOMED VISITORS SINCE 1869.

  • ANYONE CAN WATCH, AND IF THERE'S NO MATCH,

  • YOU CAN RENT SHOES AND BALLS AND ACTUALLY PLAY.

  • THE PRESIDENT OF THE CLUB, MARGARET MacLAUCHLAN,

  • IS GIVING ME A LESSON IN THIS WONDERFULLY SCOTTISH PASTIME.

  • THE PURPOSE OF THE GAME IS THAT YOU ARE GOING TO

  • TRY TO GET YOUR BALL CLOSER TO THE JACK

  • THAN YOUR OPPONENT.

  • IT'S GOING TO BEND A LITTLE BIT THIS WAY.

  • THAT'S CORRECT.

  • OKAY, LET'S GIVE THAT A WHIRL.

  • WOW, YOU TOOK YOUR PORRIDGE THIS MORNING.

  • SEE, I'M THROWING IT TOO FAR

  • AND I FORGOT MY BIAS.

  • YOU FORGOT YOUR BIAS, YES.

  • TAKE THE BALL.

  • DO IT AGAIN?

  • YES.

  • REMEMBER YOUR BIAS THIS TIME.

  • OKAY.

  • NOT TOO HEAVY.

  • THAT'S NOT A BAD TRY.

  • NOT BAD.

  • HEY, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE LESSON.

  • IT'S A PLEASURE.

  • NICE TO MEET YOU.

  • TO CELEBRATE OUR FIRST GAME OF LAWN BOWLING,

  • HOW ABOUT A LITTLE SCOTCH?

  • OBAN'S 200-YEAR-OLD WHISKEY DISTILLERY PRODUCES

  • NEARLY 15,000 BOTTLES A WEEK.

  • DON'T BREATHE IN TOO DEEPLY

  • BECAUSE SOMETIMES IT CAN TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY.

  • THEY OFFER FRAGRANT TOURS.

  • SO WE'LL HAVE A LOOK IN THIS ONE NOW.

  • NOW, THIS ONE'S FINISHED FERMENTING.

  • NOW, OBAN'S QUITE UNIQUE.

  • THE WASH STILL IS MUCH BIGGER THAN THE SPIRIT STILL.

  • NOW, EACH DISTILLERY WILL HAVE ITS OWN SHAPE OF STILL.

  • THAT'S TRADITION.

  • AND THE SHAPE OF THE STILL WILL INFLUENCE THE CHARACTER

  • OF THE WHISKEY.

  • SO THIS IS OBAN SINGLE MALT WHISKEY,

  • AND IT'S 14 YEARS OLD.

  • THE TOUR FINISHES WITH A SMOOTH SAMPLE

  • AND A TRADITIONAL TOAST.

  • IN MY BRITAIN GUIDEBOOK, I RECOMMEND SLEEPING

  • IN BED AND BREAKFASTS TO SAVE MONEY

  • AND GET TO KNOW THE LOCALS.

  • AND THESE DAYS, MANY B & Bs ARE SMOKE-FREE.

  • NONSMOKERS HAVE IT EASIER IN BRITAIN THAN ON THE CONTINENT

  • WHERE SMOKE-FREE ACCOMMODATIONS

  • ARE STILL PRETTY RARE.

  • SO, THIS IS MY HOME AWAY FROM HOME.

  • I'VE SET UP A WEE LITTLE PANTRY,

  • GOT MY SINK HERE,

  • TOILET AND SHOWER JUST ACROSS THE HALL,

  • AND I'VE GOT MY OWN TEMPORARY LOCAL MOTHER.

  • WELL, RICK, THIS IS THE TROLLEY WHERE WE HAVE

  • TEA AND COFFEE AND BISCUITS, AND YOU HELP YOURSELF.

  • AND YOU'RE MORE THAN WELCOME TO USE IT.

  • THIS IS THE LOUNGE.

  • AND THIS IS WHERE WE LIKE TO SIT ON AN EVENING,

  • HAVE A TALK TO OUR GUESTS.

  • SO YOU ACTUALLY GET THE GUESTS GATHERING IN HERE?

  • OH, WE DO, WE DO GET THEM GATHERING IN HERE.

  • WE HAVE A GOOD EVENING.

  • THEY WANT TO KNOW ABOUT OBAN,

  • AND I HELP THEM AS MUCH AS I CAN.

  • AND I ASK THEM WHERE THEY'VE BEEN, WHERE THEY'VE COME FROM,

  • AND I LIKE TO KNOW WHERE THEY ARE.

  • RENA, WE NEED ONE GREAT PLACE FOR A SCOTTISH DINNER.

  • OH, THE STUDIO, OF COURSE.

  • IT'S VERY NICE INDEED THERE.

  • THEY HAVE LOVELY MEALS IN THERE,

  • AND YOU CAN CHOOSE FROM THE MENU.

  • AND YOU CAN HAVE SCOTTISH FOOD AS WELL.

  • SALMON AND STEAKS,

  • AND REALLY NICE STEAKS THEY ARE IN THERE.

  • NOW, I KNOW IT'S A TOURISTY THING,

  • BUT I REALLY WHEN I'M IN SCOTLAND,

  • I LIKE TO HAVE SOME HAGGIS.

  • WILL THEY SERVE THE HAGGIS,

  • DO YOU THINK?

  • I THINK SO.

  • I'M NOT SURE ABOUT HAGGIS BECAUSE I'M NOT A HAGGIS EATER.

  • I THINK THEY SERVE IT TO ALL THE TOURISTS,

  • BUT YOU PROBABLY HAVEN'T HAD IT FOR A WHILE.

  • NO, AND I CAN DANCE IT.

  • I CAN SHOOT IT IF YOU LIKE.

  • [ LAUGHTER ]

  • THE STUDIO IS A FAVORITE FOR GOOD SCOTTISH COOKING.

  • HM.

  • THERE'S JUST NO HAGGIS ANYWHERE ON THIS MENU.

  • I GUESS SCOTTISH CUISINE HAS MOVED

  • BEYOND HAGGIS, NEEPS, AND TATTIES.

  • ACTUALLY, THAT'S A RELIEF.

  • ANGUS BEEF?

  • THAT'LL BE FOR ME.

  • WOULD YOU LIKE SOME

  • HORSERADISH SAUCE WITH THAT?

  • OH, YES, PLEASE.

  • BECAUSE IT LETS US ORDER THE LOCALLY CAUGHT

  • GRILLED SALMON AND THE HIGHLAND ANGUS BEEF.

  • EACH MORNING TRAVELERS PILE ONTO THE HUGE OBAN-MULL FERRY.

  • ALL ABOARD FOR IONA, RAIN OR SHINE.

  • REGARDLESS OF THE WEATHER, THE TOUR OF IONA AND MULL

  • OFFERS THE BEST ONE-DAY LOOK AT DRAMATIC AND HISTORIC

  • HEBRIDES ISLAND SCENERY.

  • PART TWO OF OUR TOUR:

  • AN ENTERTAINING BUS RIDE ACROSS THE ISLE OF MULL.

  • THE ISLAND OF MULL, IT'S A BIG ISLAND.

  • IT'S BIGGER THAN MOST FOLK REALIZE AT FIRST.

  • BIGGEST OF THE HEBRIDES.

  • 345 SQUARE MILES.

  • INDEPENDENT AS I LIKE TO TRAVEL,

  • THERE ARE CASES WHEN CONNECTING HARD-TO-GET-TO

  • RURAL DESTINATIONS WITH AN ORGANIZED BUS TOUR

  • IS TIME AND MONEY WELL SPENT.

  • ALL THE VIKINGS THAT CAME HERE

  • CAME TO SETTLE AND FARM THE LAND.

  • THERE WAS ALSO VIKING RAIDERS.

  • THEY USED TO TIME THEIR RAIDS

  • TO OCCUR EVERY FIVE OR SIX YEARS.

  • THEY SEEMED TO RECKON THIS WAS LONG ENOUGH

  • FOR ANY COMMUNITY TO GATHER SOME RICHES

  • ABOUT THEM AND THEN THE VIKINGS WOULD

  • RETURN AND RELIEVE THEM OF IT.

  • AFTER BUSING ACROSS MULL,

  • IT'S A ONE-MILE FERRY RIDE TO THE SLEEPY ISLAND OF IONA.

  • IONA IS TINY:

  • JUST ONE VILLAGE, FIVE SQUARE MILES, ALMOST NO CARS.

  • IT'S FAMOUS FOR ITS ABBEY,

  • THE BIRTHPLACE OF CHRISTIANITY IN SCOTLAND.

  • THE YEAR WAS 563.

  • A MONK NAMED COLUMBA FOUGHT A BATTLE IN IRELAND.

  • HE WON, BUT SICKENED BY THE BLOODSHED,

  • HE LEFT HIS HOMELAND VOWING NEVER TO RETURN.

  • ACCORDING TO LEGEND, THE FIRST PIECE OF LAND

  • HE SAW OUT OF SIGHT OF IRELAND WAS IONA.

  • HE STOPPED HERE AND BUILT A MONASTERY.

  • IONA BECAME THE CENTER OF CELTIC CHRISTIANITY.

  • FROM HERE, ST. COLUMBA'S MONKS SPREAD THE GOSPEL

  • THROUGHOUT SCOTLAND.

  • THIS LITTLE ISLAND WAS A CENTER OF ART AND LEARNING

  • BACK WHEN MOST OF EUROPE WAS RUTTING IN THE DARK AGE MUD.

  • THE FAMOUS BOOK OF KELLS-- THIS IS A COPY--

  • PERHAPS THE FINEST PIECE OF ART FROM WHAT'S COMMONLY CALLED

  • EUROPE'S DARK AGES,

  • WAS STARTED HERE ON IONA IN THE 8th CENTURY.

  • THE ABBEY WAS THE BURIAL PLACE FOR CHIEFS AND KINGS.

  • DOZENS OF ANCIENT SCOTTISH AND EVEN SCANDINAVIAN KINGS

  • REST HERE, INCLUDING SHAKESPEARE'S MacBETH.

  • BY ABOUT THE YEAR 800, VIKINGS WERE RAIDING.

  • AFTER ONE MASSACRE,

  • 68 MONKS WERE KILLED RIGHT HERE ON THE BEACH.

  • THE SURVIVORS PACKED UP THEIR TREASURES,

  • INCLUDING THE BOOK OF KELLS, AND RETURNED TO IRELAND.

  • AFTER CENTURIES OF PILLAGING,

  • LITTLE REMAINS OF THE ORIGINAL CHURCH.

  • BUT TODAY THE IONA COMMUNITY IS BRINGING NEW LIFE TO THE ABBEY

  • WITH A FOCUS ON PEACE, JUSTICE, AND RECONCILIATION.

  • A THOUGHTFUL CALM PERVADES SCOTLAND'S HOLY ISLE.

  • IT'S A GREAT PLACE FOR A BREAK FROM A BUSY ITINERARY.

  • AFTER A REST ON IONA, WE'RE DRIVING NORTH,

  • FARTHER INTO THE HIGHLANDS.

  • THE MILES ARE LONG, BUT THEY'RE SCENIC.

  • THE ROADS ARE GOOD AND THE TRAFFIC'S LIGHT.

  • OF COURSE, HERE IN BRITAIN YOU DRIVE ON THE LEFT-HAND SIDE

  • OF THE ROAD.

  • ORIGINALLY THAT WAS SO YOU COULD DRIVE DEFENSIVELY,

  • WITH YOUR SWORD HAND ON THE INSIDE TO DEFEND YOURSELF

  • AGAINST ONCOMING TRAFFIC.

  • YOU GET USED TO IT.

  • THE BEAUTY OF THE HIGHLANDS IS POWERFULLY FELT

  • IN THE VAST RANNOCH MOOR,

  • HUNDREDS OF DESOLATE SQUARE MILES,

  • MUCH ENJOYED BY HIKERS AND LOVERS OF NATURE.

  • [ BAGPIPES PLAYING ]

  • THE WINDY EXPANSE OF THE HIGHLANDS,

  • THIS IS WHERE PIPING FEELS RIGHT.

  • ROADSIDE PIPERS ENTERTAIN TRAVELERS FOR TIPS

  • ON THE ROAD INTO GLENCOE.

  • BOY, THAT'S GREAT.

  • THANK YOU.

  • CAN YOU GIVE ME A QUICK TOUR

  • OF YOUR GEAR AND EVERYTHING?

  • YEAH, SURE.

  • YOU'VE GOT YOUR BAG, HAND-SEWN.

  • OKAY.

  • HIDE BAG.

  • LOVELY, YEAH.

  • THEN YOU'VE GOT YOUR TWO BASS,

  • YOUR TENOR DRONE, THE BLOW PIPE.

  • TO FILL THE BAG WITH?

  • YEAH.

  • AND YOU'VE GOT YOUR STANDARD KEYBOARD.

  • IT'S WHERE YOUR MUSIC COMES FROM.

  • SO IF YOU CAN PLAY THE RECORDER, YOU CAN ACTUALLY--

  • YOU HAVE TO FILL THE BAG, BUT WE CAN PLAY--

  • CAN I GIVE IT A WHIRL?

  • YEAH.

  • OKAY.

  • SO YOU'RE GOING TO POWER THE ORGAN

  • AND THEN I WILL TRY TO COVER ALL THESE HOLES.

  • VERY GOOD.

  • MY FIRST LESSON!

  • THANKS.

  • YEAH.

  • THE VALLEY OF GLENCOE, OFTEN CALLED THE WEEPING GLEN,

  • HAS A SAD AND INTERESTING STORY.

  • GLENCOE VILLAGE IS JUST A LINE OF HOUSES.

  • ONE IS THE HUMBLE GLENCOE FOLK MUSEUM.

  • A PURELY HOME-GROWN EFFORT, IT'S FILLED WITH ARTIFACTS