At the end of May, I was finally able to tick Scotland off my wishlist. Steve booked tickets to see Bruce Springsteen in Glasgow and in coincidence we were invited the same week to go canoeing along the Great Glen Canoe Trail. Unfortunately the wind changed just two weeks before we were due to go, which meant logistically it would have been difficult to join in on the canoe trip for a day, so instead we decided to explore the area around Fort William, though we’d only have less than 24 hours there. We hopped on the Caledonian Sleeper from London at around 9pm on the Monday evening ready to wake up in Scotland.
Being the light sleeper that I am, I didn’t sleep a wink on the train which meant I spent the first day exhausted – though luckily the excitement and beauty of the surroundings kept me going. When I got up around 7am to go to the toilet on the train, I peered out of the window and almost cried it was so beautiful. Whenever I see sights like that, I always wonder how people live anywhere else. After that I got dressed and spent the last couple of hours of the journey with my face pressed to the window.
When we arrived in Fort William, we decided to make our way to Ben Nevis, which meant walking over the pretty Cow Hill and past the visitors centre. It was searingly hot which I did not expect, so i’d packed clothes that were really too warm. Our packs were far too heavy really, but I blame that on the next 3 days being more civilised than the first, as we would be heading into the city and needed more stuff than if we were only camping and roughing it. We hiked all day, chatted to some other lovely hikers and got part way up Ben before realising that we wouldn’t be able to camp that high up due to needing to get down in time to catch a really early train the next day. We pitched up by a river, ate our curry, played in the stream and went to bed ridiculously early as we were both pretty sleep deprived! It was jaw-droppingly beautiful though and it didn’t get dark until so late, if it did at all. The sound of the water as I went to sleep was the most relaxing sound.
The next day we went on the most stunning train journey to Glasgow from Fort William, where we met Steve’s parents and went for dinner, then went to see the Boss! Who was amazing as usual.
In the morning we wandered around the shops for a while until eventually catching the train to Edinburgh, where we checked into the nicest Air BnB with the most lovely host and then walked up Arthurs Seat at sunset and then went for a curry. It was only a fleeting visit, but I feel like we got a really good taste of the city. We had breakfast in the morning and then wandered around near the castle, before getting the train back home. It was a whirlwind tour of Scotland, but a very fulfilling one. I can’t wait to go back.
Thanks to Steve for the photos! (I barely took any, which sounds awful as I am supposed to be the photographer – but sometimes it’s nice to just enjoy!)