Monday 23rdJuly 2018
We are going on the Jacobite Steam Train today – or sometimes referred to as the Harry Potter train. This train leaves Fort William and goes to Mallaig with a stop at Glenfinnan station on the way. This is the train that the footage is used as Ron and Harry try to catch up with the train after they couldn’t get onto the platform 9 ¾ in The Chamber of Secrets. There was a mix of Harry Potter fans and Steam train fans on board as it was a steam train trip. We had booked this trip as soon as the tickets opened back in November!
There was a gentleman from Victoria, Australia sitting with us on the way to Mallaig who was a train enthusiast. Phil checked google maps so we could see how close we were to the Glenfinnan viaduct (where the car was shown in front of the Hogwarts Express). I went to the door where the window opens a little way to take some photos as we crossed the viaduct. Graeme was there too (the Australian train enthusiast). We shared the space so we could both get some pictures. It was awesome.
We stopped at Glenfinnan train station, but I was trying to get the blog up to date so didn’t get out. This I fear was a mistake as I read later that this is the station that they use for when the children get off to go to Hogwarts. Oh well, we’ll have to do this trip again. As we went through a tunnel, the steam fogged up the windows. We started to worry that there were dementors around.
We arrived in Mallaig and headed straight to get something to eat. We went to this little café / restaurant called The Tea Garden Cafe . They were able to find us a table that had a powerpoint so that we could charge the laptop as it was down to 5%. Their speciality was fish and chips so the 3 of us ordered that. We also had a bottle of Prosecco to share. It was so delicious. The fish and chips were absolutely amazing. Even Phil and Mum agreed that they were the best fish and chips that they had all trip. They were the only ones that I had, so they were the best for me too. We also enjoyed some dessert. I had chocolate cake. An absolutely amazing meal. We had about 30 minutes until we needed to be back on the train to go back to Fort William.
We wanted to go to one of the Harry Potter shops in the town. We couldn’t find it so headed back to the train station to ask someone. She pointed us back the direction that we had come. We hadn’t seen the sign pointing to the shop. We got into the shop with only about 10 minutes to browse and buy. Mum and I both bought some things and then went to the train.
On the journey back we were sitting in the ‘Harry Potter’ carriages. These carriages were still first class and similar to the Hogwarts Express with the sliding door. One of the differences was that there were individual seats with a table in the middle. There were 6 seats in the compartment and they were all full. There was a couple from Seattle on their honeymoon and a young lady from Canada who was also on her honeymoon with her husband in another compartment as they couldn’t get seats together.
We had a lovely chat all the way back to Fort William. Phil got some photos as we went over the Glenfinnan viaduct. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to stop or get out at Glenfinnan station.
We got back to Fort Wiliam and took Mum to the Treasures of the Earth museum and shop. We went to go in and realised that it was 12.50 GBP to go in. Phil and I didn’t want to pay $25 AUD each so we opted to wait in the car and work on the travel journal / blog. Mum went in. We thought that she would take at least an hour and she was out in about 30 minutes. She thought that their exhibits weren’t that great. The shop was okay but they didn’t have any minerals that she was looking for, that she could afford or fit into her bag. It was too early to go to the pub for dinner, so we went back to the B and B to relax for a while.
We went to the The Lochy pub for dinner. This food was fabulous and much more reasonably priced than dinner last night. We had a great time here.
We headed back to our B and B to get ourselves organised for our drive tomorrow.