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To Ft. William and Glenfinnan

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 25 June 2009

Thursday 25 June, to Ft. William and Glenfinnan

On a terrace at Ft. WilliamAnother shining day, the umpteenth in a row! After a homemade breakfast we first drive to Fort William where we visit an internet cafe but unfortunately, there is no internet at all. Then we look for a terrace and yes, again there are only Dutch people. Our neighbors offer to take a photo of us and that is of course nice because we don't have so many pictures with both of us on it.
Today we come especially for the market in Fort William because every Thursday there is a couple who make beautiful and winter-proof figurines that cost almost nothing (we think). Since we know this, we try to visit every year on a Thursday when we are around. The sculptures are made of a kind of concrete and painted with a characteristic gloss. They have a lot of new ones this year and we buy 2 small hedgehogs of about 25 centimeters high for 10 pounds each, although we also have doubts about a much larger one.
To the Glenfinnan viaduct The Glenfinnan viaductThen we drive to Glenfinnan where the Glenfinnan monument stands to commemorate that Charles Edward Stuart hoisted his flag at Loch Shiel with which the Jacobite uprising began in 1745 with the intention of capturing the Scottish and English throne. 8 months later, he was finally defeated at Culloden, near Inverness.
But today we come especially for the viaduct on which a steam train, the Jacobite, goes which is best known as The Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films.
We meet a member of our Scotland forum Posing with BertOn the road coming here we are behind a Dutch jeep and we think we notice a sticker on the car that was specially made for our Scotland Forum(only in Dutch). And yes, when we get off the car, the guy recognizes us and introduces himself as 'Bert of the forum'. We have often met fellow members in Scotland but this is the first time that it happens spontaneously without an appointment. And that was also one of the reasons that we once had those stickers made, so people could recognize each other. It seems that other forum members have also experienced such encounters, funny.
Repairing the road at Glenfinnan Talking to an estate keeperWe drink a coffee together and then walk to the viaduct on a road where the holes are being repaired: by hand! Using a gas cylinder, the tar is heated and then scooped into the holes of the road and spread well with a metal roller. A moment later we encounter the supervisor of the estate and we walk with him and talk about his extensive work, from shooting deer to road repairs.
Jacobite steam train, the Harry Potter trainAnd then we have to wait for the Jacobite steam train, or the Hogwarts express, with which the sorcerer's pupils were taken to the Hogwarts university in the Harry Potter films.
The Jacobite steam train rides a few times a day from Ft. William to Mallaig, from where a boat leaves for Skye, and back again. It is a beautiful route and is very popular with tourists, in the high season you can book best in advance.
Statue we bought at Ft. William Statues we bought at Ft. WilliamWhen we drive back to Fort William we realize that we also want to have that bigger statue, a kind of bird fountain on a beautifully crafted pedestal of about 60 centimeters high and heavy (for only 20 pounds). So we drive to the market and we are lucky, they are still there and we need a wheelbarrow to bring this statue and another one to the car. Here you can see them displayed in our log cabin.
After this we drive into Glen Nevis to a bar where they have nice coffee (and chocolates) to celebrate our purchases. And coffee that I like is almost nowhere to be found in the whole of Great Britain, usually it is a bowl of weak dark brown water with a light coffee taste and often a lot of milk.


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