Today was all about the train. We traveled on the Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William to Mallaig. After a short visit in Mallaig we returned to Fort William. It’s a 6 hour trip all tolled. The brochures advertise it as ‘one of the great railway journeys of the world’. Not having anything to compare it to, I’d have to agree. The diverse scenery was something, but what was even more amazing was the Glenfinnan Viaduct. For those of you non Harry Potter fans, that won’t mean anything to you. But If you are fans, you’ll be well impressed.
This is an old train, so old it’s coal powered, which is pretty cool. There is a small canteen in car C, plus a trolley that makes its way through the carriages selling food and drink items. In keeping with the Harry Potter theme of this train, they serve Butter Brew Hot Chocolate, but the food trolley doesn’t offer it. You must make your way to the canteen. We were seated in car A, so I made one trip to the canteen on our outward journey to try to get a Butter Brew. Long line, wouldn’t ya know. I carried on to the gift shop in car D figuring the line would be gone by the time I returned. None of the Harry themed tchotchke in the gift shop spoke to me, so I headed back. STILL a long line, and not getting any shorter. Because of the small quarters in the canteen, there can only be one staff member working there at any time, regardless of the length of the line. I’m a bit like my mother in that I don’t do queues. No worries, I’ll have another chance on the return trip. Back to my seat I head. But nope...not that simple. The food trolley is now between me and my seat. And people being people, by that I mean annoyingly indecisive, it takes the trolley for-evah to go 2 rows of seats. First they don’t want anything from the cart...then they change their mind (of course). They take a bag of chips (haggis flavoured - YUCK), and then they realize they’ve got haggis flavour and no one would really WANT that, so change their mind (no flippin’ wonder). The trolly attempts to move to the next row, but then someone else decides they’d like something after all (of course). But what do they want. They must be related to the indecisive people in line at the canteen. By now I’m thinking I might as well have waited in line at the canteen after all.
I’m not really a ‘bucket list’ kind of girl, but if I were, today’s journey might well have been on it. Of course, the train was chalk full of Harry fans, so getting the ‘money shot’ of the train on the viaduct was the main objective of a lot of people. There were only a few locations on the train, namely the small areas at either end of each carriage where the windows open wide that you could lean out and get a good shot. I had 2 kicks at the cat. One on the outbound trip and one on the return.
Now this is where human nature and the ole ‘me vs thee’ really kicks in. There is a short period of time when THE BEST photo can be taken and really only room for 1, or perhaps 2 small people, at the window at any given time. Needless to say, not everyone is unselfish about snapping a pic and getting out of the way. On the way out, I snapped a pic early and let 2 other girls in. Little did I know that they were going to stay in the window for the remainder of the trip across the viaduct instead of taking a picture and letting me take another. Hmmmm, apparently not everyone plays well in the sandbox. On the return trip I got to the window nice and early. There were 5 people behind me for this crossing. I think I was a bit more considerate. I snapped a photo and quickly moved out of the way. What happened after that, I don’t know. I returned to my seat with a very nice shot of the train entering the viaduct. Shortly after I made my way to the canteen again and beat the crowd. I thoroughly enjoyed my Butter Brew Hot Chocolate.
A great day all in all.