I used an automatic ticketing machine and paid for an all day pass and found the right stop for the downtown Buchanan St station. It terminated at about a 3 block walk to where the tour buses parked downtown. On the way I found an open cafe and bought a small orange juice and cookie for the road.
A few fellow passengers were waiting and I met a nice mom and son duo from New York who were bound for the same bus.
The weather was overcast and a bit chilly but I didn't need to put my jacket on, after walking a ways I always tend to run a bit warm. ;)
My tour traced a lot of the same trails we covered on my first day in Scotland. We headed from Glasgow up to the Highlands. A photo stop at Loch Lamond (made famous in the song, "you take the high road, and I'll take the low road...") and above GlenCoe (The site of a historical betrayal and massacre involving the MacDonalds and the Campbells).
We drove by Fort William, where I had a shop and lunch before a few days earlier. We stopped at the Glenfinnan Monument where I hiked to the top of a lookout viewpoint to get a fabulous view of the famous stone viaduct archway bridge that we will later go over on the steam train! A famous scene in the Harry Potter movies.
I actually dozed off and on for most of the morning so the little hike wasn't easy on a groggy mind and body but it was well worth it! I also had a great view of the Loch below with a huge tower and statue monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie.
We also had a quick photo and leg-stretch break on the white beach sand of Morar, a little inlet off the coast. So pretty with deep, pristine white sand!
Next onto Mallaig and the train!
We had about 30 minutes in the cute tiny fishing town of Mallaig before we boarded the steam train. I ordered fish and chips in the shop beside the train station and ate it while waiting to board. Again some of the most delicious fish and a huge piece!!! I had it the traditional way. Salt and vinegar!!! I'm trying new things and loving it!
I still had some time so I went back into the small shop and enjoyed a toffee apple flavoured ice cream cone. Super good!!
We finally got on board the old steam train in 2nd class train cars. Seats for four with a table between. I sat across from a nice Greek mom and daughter who chatted to me. I was facing forwards and would let them know when something interesting to take a photo of was coming up.
The big highlight for everyone was going over the long, curved Glenfinnan Aquaduct bridge. I got a few excellent photos but we were too close to the engine to catch a photo of it.
I did snap a few photos of the engine when we arrived at the station. The train ride was lovely, big puffs of white steam rolling past our car and the high pitched whistle going off every now and then. The chugga-chugga sound and movement made us all sleepy and several of our tour group had a nap! I didn't want to miss a moment.
On the way back from Fort William we stopped at some pretty lookouts. One of three mountains called the Three Sisters, Faith, Hope and Charity.
We also stopped at the Drovers Inn after Glencoe. A hotel and bar that has been much untouched or a few hundred years. Minimal renovations so it looks much like it did in Rob Roy's time. Lots of creepy taxidermied animals all over the walls. Old wood floors and wood wall panelling. Kind of creepy!! (This is just a taste of the multitude of "stuffed" animals that were on display in every corner!!)
Once back in Glasgow from my tour I headed towards the subway station. The station is right in the middle of the big shopping area so I decided to stop and have supper at the Hard Rock Cafe. Why not?! :)
Watch for my next update where my Mom joins me and we tour an amazing castle featured in movies and tv!!
Catch up on ALL my posts of my awesome #kbintheuk trip: