Travelling up the east coast of Scotland we briefly stopped in Cromarty before taking the smallest car ferry across the Cromarty Firth to Nigg on the opposite shore – the Renfrew Rose only takes four cars. Ours was the last on and sat partly on the tailgate. You have to drive on but reverse off – which is trickier than it sounds.

What surprised me most about Cromarty was the huge oil rigs looming offshore. It was the last thing I expected to see in what is described as the most beautiful fishing town in Scotland. It seems that the slump in demand for crude oil from the North Sea has led to the rigs being temporarily re-located to this picturesque stretch of water – at least that is what people hope, that this is a more a parking lot until the trade takes an upturn and the massive structures can be towed back to resume their profitable activity. However it looks like it could become an oil rig graveyard as the rigs lie unused and rusting.

4 Replies to “Passing through Cromarty”

  1. This post is so interesting, and I’m taken by the ferry. You are right, backing off a ferry is not as easy as from a garage, let’s say. I remember quite a few journeys in early childhood across the Ohio River on trips to visit my grandparents – those ferries were also small, but we went off headfirst (inching down a tiny ramp). And I did not know oil rigs were towable and re-parkable. Also love the dedication on the bench.

  2. It felt very vulnerable being the last car on the ferry with the loading ramp only just closed. It was a good job it was such a calm day. Reversing off the ferry we nearly went over the side of the steep and narrow concrete slipway. Never again!

  3. The lower ferry in Dartmouth is also quite small and takes about 6 cars. It feels vulnerable in the same way you describe, but you can drive off forwards!

  4. Oh, yes, I see that. And I agree, terrifying. I am glad that you made it ok. I am terrible at backing up and keeping a straight line and I think I would have had the car in the drink, very efficiently.

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