Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hogwarts Express

Recently we took an overnight trip to the western highlands.  We left Edinburgh Friday afternoon and drove to Fort William via Glencoe.  I have posted about Glencoe previously.  It is a rugged, beautiful part of the Scottish Highlands.  Fortunately, the heather was still in bloom and we enjoyed it from the comfort of the car and train as we journeyed through the countryside.

Scotland’s legendary West Highland Line is dubbed the Hogwarts Express Train line.  This train line was featured in the Harry Potter films when Harry and crew are transported by train to Hogwarts School from King’s Cross Station’s Platform 9 3/4.

Away from the cameras, the historic steam train is called The Jacobite and runs from Fort William to Mallaig, a fishing village on Scotland’s West Coast.  But for this train, the village of Mallaig would simply be a small fishing village.

The route winds through Highland valleys and along lochs and glens. It begins in the Highlands capital, Fort William, under the shadow of Ben Nevis.
  One of the main highlights of the journey is crossing the 21 arches of the Glenfinnan viaduct, memorably captured in the Harry Potter films and overlooking Loch Shiel.

This is Loch Shiel...

We stayed overnight at a Bed & Breakfast in Fort Willam and early Saturday boarded the train to Mallaig.  The day was still very overcast so pictures were limited.  The scenery was beautiful as we made our way through the valleys and glens and up the braes to the small town of Glenfinnan and then on to Mallaig.

 The heather was still in bloom and covered the hillsides.

Mallaig isn't very exciting...just a small village with very few shops.  We did find a good place to eat...a grand meal of fish n' chips.  You can see the heather on the hills here.

 As we drove back to Edinburgh the weather had cleared as we went through the Glencoe Valley and we could enjoy the rugged beauty of that area.

 We had heavy rains all the way to Fort William on Friday, but the weather cleared on Saturday.  As we came through the Glencoe Valley on Friday, the water was cascading down the mountains in temporary waterfalls.  It was a gorgeous sight, but one I “didne catch wie a picture”.


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