Thursday, May 14, 2015

CalMac ferries, Scotland

A Guardian article published on 13 May 2015 under the heading "Travels with locals: 10 great public transport rides" contains this entry:
They may well be a lifeline for local people but the CalMac ferries (full name Caledonian MacBrayne) that potter back and forth between the mainland and the islands off the coast of north-west Scotland provide arguably the most spectacular tourist transport Britain has to offer. Frequent sailings allow passengers to explore the Inner Hebrides and the far-flung Western Isles, with some voyages taking in several islands at a time. It can be very tempting to leap off when you see a particularly beguiling little restaurant by the harbour or the silhouette of a mysterious ruined castle on the clifftop. The islanders are open, friendly types as a rule – strike up a conversation with them on board and you’ll enter a whole new world, gleaning insights you’d never get from a travel guide. Bird lovers can enjoy close-up sightings of seabirds in their natural element – in summer, puffins are a particular treat – and you may spot a pod of porpoises or dolphins (the locals will probably be able to tell you which is which).
Sounds good – have put it on my 'list'...