passing through Fort William
Fort William Travel Blog› entry 46 of 68 › view all entries
Up at 6:40am to for the 8:12 train to Fort William, I washed up, scoffed down breakfast (wrapping up half in napkins to take with me), packed, and ran out the door just in time. Still groggy after less than five hours I bed, I made up a little sleep at the start of the four-hour ride. Into Bridge of Orchy, the steep green mountains enveloped the train. Pristine lakes of glass terminated brooks and streams in the Scottish glens. [British English note: “glens” are valleys, “bens” are mountains, and “lochs” are lakes.]
Although the esplanade in Fort William was fragrant with flower pollen and pleasing to the eye, the town was little more than a tourist trap of small shops surrounded by suburban dwellings. I took a hasty shot of cattle and sheep along my two-mile hike to Inverlochy Castle, another rock climber’s ecstasy, if a wee bit too modern with angle iron, wooden beams, and concrete.
On the second floor, I passed some time awaiting the next tour at the Lochaber Art Club‘s exhibition. I leisurely examined creations of aspiring artists for about a half an hour until heading back down to the main entrance. The distillery tour began with a lame video presentation and ended with less drinking than I expected. Our guide was pleasant and the facilities interesting, but Bushmills was notably better.
It was too early for the train to Mallaig, so I hit the loo and spent my remaining time in the distillery’s museum. Sadly, Fort Williams had turned out to be a wasted day. Perhaps my visit might have been worthwhile if I had hiked over Ben Nevis instead. Leaving town, the train passed by the channel lock system, which was interesting, but I was glad not to have invested the walk to see it up close. I caught a few more winks between stations.