It was journey by steam train to Mallaig today. The train was the Jacobite Steam Engine, which was like the one used in the Harry Potter movies. If you’ve seen the movies, you’ll recognize the viaduct view in the film. Here’s Brad wearing his Newport Aquarium “Hairy Otter” shirt by the train.
We reserved first class seats. They were like living room chairs, very soft and comfy. It was about 1-1/2 hours of train ride each way, with a short stop at Glenfinnan Station and nearly two hours at Mallaig. We were served coffee or tea and biscuits in our private car. There were six seats in the car, so we shared with a British man and his son on the way out, and a newlywed couple from Arcata California on the way back.
The scenery on the route was gorgeous. Lots of mountains, wetlands, lochs, and animal life of various kinds. The highlight was the viaduct, of course.
Once in Mallaig, we had time to grab a bite to eat and walk around a bit. It was a very small harbor town. The day was overcast so we weren’t able to see much of the islands across the way … Skye, Eigg and Rum.
On the way back, we taste tested the blended whiskey they sold on the train … it was called Jacobite of course. It was pretty terrible. Hal thinks that makes it a good souvenir, since he can keep the full bottle on his shelf and not be tempted to drink it when he gets home.
Our other Eugene friends were scheduled to arrive in Fort William today. We know that Jim and Becky are here, but not sure if the others have made it yet. It will feel odd to run into friends in this far away place. We are all scheduled for dinner tomorrow night, the eve before we board the Ros Crana for our Caledonian Canal barge cruise. Hope we all get some sleep tonight. The Old Harbormaster is not very comfortable for sleeping … Oh well.