I actually tried to leave Oban the evening I got back from the Isles of Staffa, Iona, and Mull, however the ferry was delayed by a few minutes and I was unable to get back to the hostel, pick up my stuff, and run back to the ferry terminal in time for the next departure. Sooo, I picked up a six pack and went to hang out with the Scotsman I’d met, packed all of my bags, and went to bed early for a 4am wake up and I run to the ferry terminal.
I originally had booked a hostel the night before in Fort William, which they allowed me to cancel but now I was trying to beat the clock for departure on the Jacobite Steam Train out of Fort William. I wanted to see the Highlands and feel like Harry Potter departing for his first day at Hogwarts, and in order to do that I had to be in Fort William at 10am for the Jacobite Steam Train departure.
I barely made it with about 5 minutes to spare. Was able to pay for my ticket and get onto the train with standing room only. This was actually a pretty good place to be because the area right in-between cars is the only area where the windows came down and you could stick your head out the window and your camera for snaps of the scenery without window gunk.
It was a wonderful morning. As mentioned, the Jacobite train leaves from Fort William, goes to Mallig across the Bridge you can find in Harry Potter, stops for enough time to have a long lunch, and then it departs again for Fort William. There are also usually a morning departure at 10:00 and again at 14:00.
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Jacobite Steam train into the Scottish Highlands. This morning started at 04:30 after a later ferry back last night caused me to miss the last train heading North from Oban last night. Had to get up early to make it, but I secured a hand written ticket for standing room only 5 minutes before the train left the terminal. What could have been a shitty ride ended up being one of the best seats in the house because the windows on the doors could be lowered while the train was moving allowing for unobstructed views from grimy windows. Cheers! 😆👌🏻 P.S. You may also remember that the Jacobite steam train route provided the overviews for the journey to Hogwarts on the Hogwarts Express. Just an added bonus. 👊🏻 #travel #adventure #jacobitesteamtrain #nerdalert #harrypotter #europe #scotland #fortwilliam #highlands #scottishhighlands #malliag
Best attempt at capturing the bridge on the way back to Fort William from Mallig. Not great, but just a small idea of the kinds of views you will get on this trip. After waking up at 4am and catching the train at 10, I didn’t get back to Fort William until after 16:00 and decided to get a bus ticket to Edinburgh and start my stay there for the next couple days.
It was another 3.5 hour bus ride to get to Edinburgh so the whole day was pretty much spent in transit. Ferry, Train, Bus, the whole shebang.
I stopped in at the grocery store where the bus station is and bought supper and some extra snacks and then waited about a half hour for the bus station. Don’t forget to buy your ticket at the bus office ahead of time, it will be much easier than waiting and paying at the door.
The bus was pretty empty but the drive was lovely. I put the google maps above^ but we took the middle path down through the outer edges of Loch Ness and I played music and continued on down the countryside, watching the sunset and enjoying the beauty of the countryside in the dying light.
Edinburgh is a city I truly fell in love with (even when I least expected it especially because I just assumed Dublin Ireland was above all other things) and I’m so excited to discuss it next.
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