Today was all about seeing lots of beauty while at the same time getting from point A (Fort William) to point B (Plockton) before heading onto point C (Edinburgh). The train to Mallaig – made famous by Harry Potter movies – was as advertised. Gorgeous scenery. Lots of mountains and glens. A big slowdown at the arches. Not sure if it was for technical reasons or photo ops but it sure worked. Great sea views too once we got to the coast.
The ferry ride to the Isle of Skye was brief. There were careful safety standards when getting off: locked down ramp, gates, etc. A whole coach full of French people traveled with us. And we kept running into a New Hampshire couple with lots of luggage. He was going onto Vietnam after. There were lots of old cars waiting to get on the ferry at Skye. Must have been some kind of festival? The other end of the island connects to the mainland via a bridge.
Skye was beautiful. We only saw it through bus windows, but it was gorgeous. Lots of color, lots of crags. Hope the photos turn out. And we need to go back some day and spend more time.
Plockton is just the cutest little town, all whitewashed houses along a beach with palm trees and a castle opposite. (Yes, palm trees in Scotland.) Kind of like Greece in a crazy sort of way. One of our hosts recommended a new walk on a local property. We took that instead of the castle walk and were glad we did.
Our room was very light and airy, up under the eaves with a sea view out the dormer window. A nice bath, too, with a great shower and no mystery about flushing the toilet. (Every toilet seems to have different flushing mechanisms.)
We had Plockton Starboard at the Plockton Inn. Light but tasty ale. Then dinner at the Plockton Hotel.
Breakfast the next morning was the usual bacon, sausage, egg, toast, juice, coffee, with Stornaway black sausage — great! And Weetabix. We sat with a couple from Maryland who were traveling with a friend from Scotland, who had great stories about the Scottish accent in the US.
And we finally got a picture of Steve’s cute little bird with the orange chest. It flew in between us then sat still for a photo.
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We stayed in a lovely airy room with a view of the water and ensuite bath. Breakfast was great and they were very accommodating about leaving our bags the next morning while we went for a walk before our train left.
We had dinner at the Plockton Hotel. Steve had venison and it was great. Cooked with wine, red currant and juniper berries. (We’re still trying to recreate that at home.) I had oatmeal-crusted herring and it was also good. Nice and salty. Plus smoked salmon pate, and finally sticky toffee pudding for dessert. Kind of like dark gingerbread with toffee sauce. And ice cream. We had a Northern Lights ale from the Orkneys. That too was a light ale; bitter at first then smooth. Steve had a Guinness too.
Plockton itself is small and walkable. We took the bus into town and the train out.