adaeze: (Brodgar)
[personal profile] adaeze
I like the overnight train to Scotland. Not the deepest night's sleep ever, but it's worth it for the sake of a leisurely breakfast watching Spectacular Mountain Scenery(TM) roll past.

We had a few hours to kill in Fort William, which is long enough to stretch legs, decide that the town itself, although clearly surrounded by more scenery, is rather dull, find the SECRET!!! pictures in the museum (well signed and instructed, so not actually all that secret) and I'll hazard a guess here that people in the C18th were capable of working out that if you match this odd swirl of paints with that cylindrical mirror, hey, you get a portrait of Bonnie Prince Charlie! Or of NSFW! And then, pausing only to find some lunch, another train, and the West Highland Line is, I can report, every bit as spectacular as advertised. I speak as one who's crossed the Rockies on the California Zephyr, so I do have quite rarified standards. Among other things, it goes over the Glenfinnan Viaduct, which is also used by the Hogwarts Express.

On the other hand, the ferry terminal at Mallaig, with the sign saying "All ferries to Skye today cancelled due to weather" is rather less scenic. Be careful what you wish for - I'd just been thinking how much I'd love to do that train line all over again.

There being no guarantee that ferries would be running the next day (as it happened they weren't) we took the train back to Fort William (another look at the viaduct) and got the bus to Skye. Another four hours of Spectacular Scenery(TM), but this time with very little opportunity to stretch legs (we did get one five-minute break). Scenery included a good look at a staircase on the Caledonian Canal, and Eilean Donan Castle:

The Skye Bridge was open, but with big flashing signs warning of high winds. Hmm - I wonder just how high-sided a large bus (the sort with luggage space beneath the passenger area) is?

By the time we reached Portree, so had the promised weather: it was chucking it down. We were stiff and tired and had had enough Spectacular Scenery (TM) to last us all year. But we'd warned our landlady, and bless her, she was waiting by the gate to rush us into the apartment we were renting. It was good to get in!
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April 2017


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