Harry Potter and the Curious Dilettante

Here I am sitting on the “Harry Potter” train heading to Hogwarts…oh, no I mean Maillig. I’ve learned more about the Jacobites in these couple of days than I knew in all my long life. This is called now the Jacobite train trip since Harry retired. Well actually long before.

I happen to have a first class seat…la de da…and am sitting across from a couple on their honeymoon heading to Skye for a couple of weeks. She’s knitting away…not sure why.

That’s not her…just couldn’t resist this Scottish man

I have to say, the travelers seem to be a bit longer in the tooth than those muggles and wizards formerly occupying these seats.

The famous span bridge (or bridge to Hogwarts if you will) & avid photographers

The concrete used in the Glenfinnan Viaduct is mass concrete, which unlike reinforced concrete does not contain any metal reinforcement. It has 21 spans.

I had a lovely stay at the Old Pines Inn near Spean Bridge. It’s along the way from the Commandos memorial to the High Bridge…site of the start of the 1748 Jacobite rebellion. See…I told you I learned something about Bonnie Prince Charlie and his groupies. Probably best not to call them “groupies” while I’m in Scotland.

The food was excellent at the Old Pine Inn…this is the lake trout on pesto noodles. Yum.

Ken, the propietor of the Old Pine Inn gave me a ride to the local bus which I took to Ben Nevis and the gondola. Some lovely views and a crazy hang glider. He made it.

The goat said “Hmm…looks easy”.

Back on the Jacobite train: I’m hearing the rhythmic heartbeat of the steam engine. The clack clack clack of the tracks. Gray smoke pouring from it’s chimney. Soot on my clothes, on my hair. Too warm to close the windows…must be that global warming. Here comes the tea wagon. There’s the whistle. Some damn loch coming up now. Now speeding up. How romantic Diana! Yes, Diana, how romantic.

The tour company did a good job. I’m sitting in first class on the best side of the train facing forward. Lovely. People are discussing how the train disengages and turns around at line end. Everyone (including me) seems fascinated by trains. Many seem to be doing a round trip on the steam train. Now I feel better about hogging the view on my side.

Scottish foxglove everywhere. What did you expect?

By the way, it is ridiculously warm here. Everyone is surprised evidently. I thought to get a good tan in Mallorca but it seems a better chance here. My packing left something to be desired, so I ended up buying some shorts and shirts in Fort William. I now have two outfits I can wear for the next 10 days. Not sure how I could have escaped this problem even in looking at the forecast but one gutfull day I’m going to head off with two outfits only and make-do. Sure.

About micetrail

An avid traveler, trader and terpsichorian
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