2019 Aug/Sept. South Africa, Scotland, Switzerland, Singapore travel blog

Neptune’s Steps

The man in the middle walked from Glasgow to Fort William and...

Jacobite steam train used in Harry Potter movies

Solitary house in the glen of Glen Coe

Day 22. Wednesday. 4/9/2019. Ballachulish

Yesterday we saw heather, and today we had sunshine! Scotland at its best!

We went to Fort William and saw the ‘Hogwarts Express’ pass over a bridge and then walked up to Neptune’s Staircase, a series of 8 locks which raises the canal by 19m over a quarter of a mile and was built between 1803 and 1822. It takes approx. 90 minutes to travel through by boat. It’s an amazing feat. The sky started to clear, and we were able to see the top of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain. We then had free time in Fort William before a scenic cruise on Loch Linnhe. I opted out of this, as the water was a little choppy, but Ian said it was ok. Oh well, win some, lose some! He saw mussel farms, fish farms, grey seals and eider ducks who crack open the mussels with their beaks, also great views including Ben Nevis in full sunshine and lots of wildlife.

We then drove to Glen Coe, debatably Scotland’s most iconic glen - depends who you talk to. Amazing scenery surrounded by dramatic mountains, small rivers, heather and crazy hikers - a freezing wind was blowing even though the sun was out and we saw hikers returning to their cars with babies strapped to their backs! This area has been used as a backdrop for many films, James Bond’s “Skyfall” being the latest. After returning to the hotel, we had a couple of free hours before dinner.

Dinner over - all the meals have been superb, the best on the trip, and then a young piper played for 30 mins. He’s only 15 and this is the 3rd time he’s played for Travel Marvel groups, improving each time our Guide said. Just watching his chest and neck expand as he blew, and the fingers moving so quickly, was a treat. He started playing when he was 8, and loves it, which was evident. A lovely end to our stay at Ballachulish.

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