Jacobite Steam Train and the Isle of Skye

After a delightful night at the Inverlochy, Mary picked us up and delivered us to the train station in Fort William.  We did not have a chance to see any of Fort William, but we probably didn’t miss much.  The main attraction, other than some long hiking routes, is the museum dedicated to Bonnie Prince Charlie, more about whom later.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_William,_Highland

We were at the train station preparing to embark on the West Highland Line between Fort William and the small fishing and ferry port of Mallaig. The West Highland Line is called the greatest railway journey in the world, maybe a bit of hyperbole but as you will see from the pictures coming, passing through some of the prettiest scenery in the world.  And, to add to our barely contained excitement, we were boarding the Jacobite Steam Train, a steam powered train made famous in the Harry Potter films (none of which I have seen) as the Hogwart Express.  http://www.westcoastrailways.co.uk/jacobite/jacobite-steam-train-details.cfm

Jacobite Steam Train

Proud of their train, the whole engine and coal car were polished before departing.

Polishing the train   TRain Medalion

Stoking the boiler.

Stoking the fire

Rady to go.

REady to Go  Conductor

The day was overcast as we started out, but as you will see, it quickly cleared up to give us a beautiful ride  The pictures below were taken hanging out of the window on the platform between the coal car and our first class car, with the smoke and steam blowing in my face as the steam train barreled along.  I wound up with a face and head full of grit and cinders, but it was worth it.  Some scenes from the train ride.

Scenery 1 WHL tonemapped

Loch Eil  WHL

In the distance you can see the bridge we cross.

Bridge in distance bw WHL

On the bridge seipa paper WHL

A couple of views from the bridge. The first in the style of Georgia O’Keefe.

From the bridge Georgia okeefe WHL

View from the bridge bw WHL

A couple more pretty vistas.

Scenery 3  whl

Scenery 2  WHL

We left our steam train in Mallaig, and caught the ferry to the Isle of Skye.  Donnie Nicholson picked us up at the ferry terminal and took us to our lodging for the next two nights, the Kinloch Lodge.

Kinloch lodge

View from the front of the Lodge.

View from the kinloch lodge

Tomorrow we will embark on a tour of the Isle of Skye.

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