As I mentioned in my previous post, my train mates (Darcey, Baz and Lindsey) and I were engaged in conversations about health care and politics and economics that covered both of our specific countries. I was also kindly informed that I was pronouncing Mallaig incorrectly. Instead of ma-leg, it is pronounced mal-egg.
Our train made a quick stop at which Lindsey and Darcey left. Baz and I were able to continue our conversations. He had served three tours in Afghanistan, which was something I made certain to let him know I was very thankful for.
ARRIVING IN MALLAIG
We finally made Mallaig, which was also the end of the line. The train sat on the tracks, huffing and puffing its steam. We all bustled out of the train onto the platform that led right into the small port town. I scampered a short distance from Baz and Lindsey and soon lost sight of them.
I walked around a bit taking photos of the port town that housed very quaint houses and shops overlooking the tiny wharf. I decided I better grab a bite to eat before time got away from me. As I searched for a good place to eat, I ran into Baz who was waiting in line for Lindsey to get them fish and chips. I jumped in line and ordered my fish and chips too. We sat on a bench that overlooked the water and continued our in-depth conversations, this time about religion.
Once we finished eating, I figured I would take more photos of this sweet little town before we had to board the train again. I walked around toward the edge of the wharf where a bright white statue of an old man holding the hand of a small boy stood. The old man was the obvious representation of an old seafarer. The old man was pointing out to sea as the boy looked on. Behind both of them laid a large anchor.
MISSING THE TRAIN BACK
I took a few more photos of the old boats and small ships that passed by. I finally decided to head back to the town and figured I had plenty of time. As I nonchalantly walked back close to the station, I heard the whistle of the train. It made me think that it was boarding. As I walked down the street to where the heart of the town opened up, I noticed that there was hardly anyone left. My heart dropped. I ran to the train platform just in time to see the Jacobite Train leaving the station. How utterly Dustin of me.
I walked inside the station and asked when the next train would arrive to go back to Fort William. The lady told me it would be about two hours. I was annoyed by my mistake, but I made the most of it. I took more photos, grabbed some ice cream, and enjoyed a conversation with an older couple by the name of Betsy and Tommy. They were very kind. They had been married for 46 years. Betsy asked me a plethora of questions, including how was I liking my vacation, had I found a favorite pub, did I have a girlfriend, and how did Americans like Trump?
MALLAIG TO FORT WILLIAM BACK TO EDINBURGH
I almost lost my cool when I got on the train. It mentioned Queen Street Station, but I wasn’t planning to go to Glasgow. I realized that it was going to stop at Fort William first. I am in a constant state of panic with these trains now.
I made it back to Fort William with two hours to spare before the train left for Edinburgh. I took a small tour of Fort William, which was a very pleasant town. I stopped into a nice restaurant called Munro’s and grabbed a steak and ale pie and a Belhaven. I sat next to a window that overlooked Loch Eil. Afterward, I got another ice cream because Lindsey said I should get some from Macari’s. It was pretty good.
I made the train in time and got to my seat with plenty of time for napping. It was about a five-hour train ride that brought me to Edinburgh around 1 a.m. I was scheduled to leave that morning for London on the Virgin Train around 8 a.m. Who needs rest when you’re on vacation?