I had to be awake at four in the morning. I got to bed at a pretty decent hour, but that didn’t make a difference. The place was so quiet and the window next to the street so thin that I could practically hear the leaves being blown down the street. I heard every car and bus go by. And it didn’t help that the street was right next to the train tracks. I probably got a couple hours of sleep, but I had about a four-hour train ride ahead of me, so there was some solace.

The previous day I made a walk from the apartment to the train station. 23 minutes. So I knew how early I needed to leave. It was still dark and quiet when I left the apartment. There were random lights that tried to light up the cobblestone streets, but with little success. From the time I left the apartment till I got inside the Queen Street station, it took 23 minutes. Not bad timing at all.


I made the train. I was in the last car, but it was nice and cozy. Of all the train rides I took in Scotland, this may have been the best simply because it was dimly lit, it was very early in the morning, and the car had a vintage feel with old carpet and seat cover designs. There were about 10 of us on board. We all tried our best to sleep till the sunrise. I didn’t get much sleep, but I was comfortable.

By the time the sun came up, we were in The Highlands. There were countless views of hills and mountains and streams and lochs and small towns and even a phone booth in the middle of the nowhere. Magnificent.  

I tried to take some good photos, but it’s not always so easy on a moving train. I was still feeling the effects of hardly any sleep, so I continued to snooze on and off during the train ride.


After about four hours, our train made it to Fort William. Awaiting me (among other passengers) was the Jacobite Train. This is the same train and route from the Harry Potter movies. When I first ordered my ticket for the train, I had a first class ticket. Due to Hurricane Harvey and having to cancel and reorder, I was stuck with a regular ticket. No worries, I would soon be in good company.

I walked to the back of the train and came down a couple cars to my seat. I sat next to an older gentleman by the name of Darcey, and a couple about my age, Baz and Lindsey. We had really great conversations on our way to Mallaig (primarily politics). That was about a two-hour train ride.  

We passed more mountains and lochs and beautiful countryside, all on a really old train. Now for Mallaig and the great possibility of missing another train.