The day was much too cold and rainy to consider a climb up Ben Nevis so we decided to make a day trip to the fishing port of Mallaig. After breakfast we went to the nearby train station. It was packed with folks, including a high percentage of children, a few dressed in “Harry Potter” style clothing. We did not know that the 10:15am departure to Mallaig was the scheduled run of the world famous “Jacobite”, a perfectly preserved steam train from the 1930-40’s. The Jacobite is also the train featured in every Harry Potter movie, departing from platform 9-3/4 and taking students to Hogwarts School.

The Jacobite plies the same 41 mile route seen in the Potter movies, including the crossing of the Glenfinnan viaduct. Enthusiasts consider this one of the premier train journeys in the world, more for its history and rugged beauty than for its cinema fame. It’s popularity is such that tickets must be purchased months in advance.

We did not have such foresight, nor did we wish to pay the significant premium for the steam train experience. Fortunately, the regular Fort William to Mallaig run covers the same track and gifts one the same sights at a fraction of the cost. Furthermore, by not taking The Jacobite I was able to shoot an extraordinary video of her departure from the station.

This link will allow you to watch the amazing 2 minute video clip. Be sure and share this with any “little people” who are in your life!

We took the more mundane standard service train to Mallaig that left at noon. The journey and scenery were spectacular! Unfortunately, the mist and rain the delayed the ascent of Ben Nevis also reduced the quality of my pictures as I was forced to take my shots through rain streaked windows.

Mallaig is a working fishing port founded in the 1840’s on the western shores of Scotland. It abounds with restaurants serving the freshest seafood imaginable, literally from the ocean to your plate. For the second time on this trip Christine ate fish, cleaning her plate with gusto! I don’t expect this to become a habit for her, but who knows.

Tomorrow’s weather remains a crapshoot, but Wednesday is predicted to be a sunny 70 degrees. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that climb of Ben Nevis. In the meantime…

Peace Everyone! Pete

PS: I couldn’t resist the irony in this shot.

4 thoughts on “May 21st. The Hogwarts Express! (aka The Jacobite Steam Train).

  1. Pauline Schloss says:

    I am not into Harry Potter. Iread the first book and saw a movie. Even so, it was an experience for you to be apart of the history. Hope the Ben Nevis isn’t too grueling.
    There is a clerk at Walt’s who calls Paul “Peter’s brother”–Paul has been doing shopping–this week I will try to shop to find out who she is. Paul says her name is Pam.

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