Thursday 17 July 2014

Life's a journey - enjoying the journey from Fort William to Mallaig.

Glenfinnan Viaduct
This is a very famous viaduct, thanks to the fame of the Harry Potter films. However it has been around a lot longer than Harry's celluloid career and is inspirational whether you are enjoying the train journey or just admiring the scenery as you travel through some of the most breathtaking scenery in Scotland.

The west coast of Argyll is a place I was very familiar with, when growing up in Oban and holidaying every summer in various destinations on the west coast. All the views benefit from being seen on a sunny day but even on a wet and misty morning the scenery can still thrill.

Eigg and Rhum
The view of the islands on the day we decided to take the train from Fort William to Mallaig was superb and the combination of their shapes and the clouds made me smile. It is as if there are  smoke signals rising from the islands informing those on the mainland what is happening... and when you are in holiday mood, on a train, what is happening is pure pleasure. I can thoroughly recommend just sitting back and letting yourself get taken from A to B and delighting in every loch and lochan on the way.

Neptune's Staircase, Caledonian Canal

If travelling by train doesn't float your boat, how about making the time pass slowly on a beautiful yacht. These boats were travelling up the 9 locks on the Caledonian Canal. A short journey of distance but one of amazing engineering, as they travelled from one gradiant to another. Time was immaterial as convenience won over travelling around the north of Scotland. We learnt that the canal was built during the Napoleonic wars as too many ships were being shipwrecked by the storms that gathered around the north coast of Scotland.

Metaphors abounding, scenery astounding, I am now enjoying the latest home enhancement project - creating an en-suite bathroom off one of the guest rooms! and yes projects are part and parcel of life's journey, although they bring their own surprises and not the pleasant ones of Argyll's sandy coves and glistening waters. During the renovations, the joiner and the electrician decided that due to the uneveness of the roofs, they needed to come down!... and so they did and much to our surprise we discovered 5 wasp bikes in the eaves! They are now dealt with and work is progressing along nicely. It is just like the effect of building the canal... sometimes what we plan has unexpected long term benefits. We are now wasp free... and previously we didn't even know that there were metaphorical storms gathering overhead.

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