Oct 27, 2018
Scotland is an incredible country. In 2010, I led my third Celtic Invasion Vacations to Scotland. I learned a lot from this trip which helped form future invasions. I'm gonna share the comments from some of those invaders in #249 of Celtfather Music & Travel.
Greetings my name is Marc Gunn. This show is about the many amazing experiences I have as a musician and an adventurer.
In 2010, I hooked with John Wilmott of Celtic Ways, who now runs the Carrowcrory Cottage and Labyrinth Gardens in County Sligo.
John used to live in Oban. So he offered to organize my third Celtic Invasion Vacations to Scotland. Unfortunately, he had health issues a few months before the trip. So I was forced to make this trip come to life.
It's now eight years since that trip happened. But I was looking for Bootleg Concerts to share for my Heroic Gunn Runners on Patreon when I found the comments of invaders from that trip.
Every year, I ask my invaders to share their thoughts of what was cool and what wasn't. This invasion had some of amazing pieces of synchronicity and challenges and fun. It might've helped or hurt that this was the year a volcano erupted in Iceland which grounded a lot of airplanes. So a few invaders arrived late.
I wish I kept a more details journal of the invasion. But alas...
Interestingly, my wife did keep a little journal. However, this was also the trip where she was pregnant and got sick the first day we arrived. So I think journal was cut short.
Now since I don't have a detailed list of what we did. I thought instead, I would share the itinerary, some of my memories of the invasion and then you could hear the feedback from invaders.
And then I will comment respond to some of their comments.
The Celtic Invasion of Oban, Scotland began in Glasgow. We met up with all the invaders and then drove three cars to Oban.
The accommodations were really nice, but sadly, we had such a big group that we were separated into two houses, and separated also by about a 1/2 mile. I actually never saw the second house.
The second day was in Oban was scheduled to walk around and see the town. It was a fairly open day, which was good because we were waiting for invaders to arrive, since a couple at least were stopped by the volcano.
Day 3, we took a boat to Iona. I honestly don't remember much except for the photo that Gwen I took in front of some church on the island. I used for the release of my single "Christmas in Scotland" which was inspired by this invasion.
Day 4, lists oban area chill out, time out, everyone do their thing, shopping, fishing, maybe go walking on nearby islands.
That's hilarious because I couldn't tell you what was involved in that.
However, I do remember that some folks decided to take a trip to see a castle from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. So I'm assuming that that was this day.
Day 5 mentions Kilmartin. Again, no clue. But this might've been the day when we got a private tour of a cemetery from Liam Griffin, as well as lunch.
Day 6 took us to Edinburgh. I think we might've stopped in Stirling to climb the William Wallace memorial. But I'm not sure. That evening, we enjoyed bagpipes from Jimi McRae and Sam Ooko.
Day 7 was the final exploration of Edinburgh and of course music from me.
Okay. Let's see if this recording will jog my memory and I share a few more thoughts about the invasion.
Alright, a few things stuck for me. First, second ferry ride? What the heck?
I don't think I remember that ride at all. I maybe remember some musicians on a ferry. But I don't remember if it was to Scotland.
I think this was the trip that I realized I have to better plan. After this, I started creating a sort of cookie cutter plan for each trip. A loose one, but a plan nonetheless.
I also mention a bus tour. I have no recollection of that.
Someone mentioned the late starting times. That was remedied on future trips. I think we were leaving around 10 am, which was just way too late. I think future trips vary between and 8 and 9 am.
What was incredible for me was the number of folks who commented on the time with Liam Griffin.
So what happened was we had dinner a couple nights at a place called the Barn. I asked them if I could play music. They said that was fine.
So we ate dinner. I pulled out the autoharp and sang for an hour or two. I don't really remember.
What I do remember is one of the locals, Liam, got really into the show. He called all of his friends to come out. He sang us a song. And he invited all thirteen of us to his place for lunch the following day. Then he gave us a tour of his private historical cemetery.
It was an amazing experience and it helped me fine tune my trips. You see, I realized that all of the stuff I planned was not very memorable. What was memorable was our personal experiences with the people and the culture of the region.
That's why I say in my ads on the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast, "we get to know the region through its culture, history and legends." It's from trip.
I don't remember a whole lot about the stuff we had planned. But I remember the invaders and the people we met. I remember my time with my wife walking around Oban. I remember the joyful, adventure-filled feelings of this incredible vacation.
I hope you joined this episode, and I'm gonna leave you with a couple songs from the Bootleg concert I did that final night. If you want to hear the entire concert, join my Heroic Gunn Runners on Patreon.
Thanks so much for listening. And if you're new to the podcast, rate the show and subscribe at celtfather.com.