European Journals

Day 9: A Train North

7 September 2017

 

And so we set out bright and early to ride into Glasgow, then catch the West Highland to Fort William. We had originally planned to hike the West Highland Way, but decided not to due to our legs, shoulders, laptops, and the rain. The ride was fraught with stressors, for me anyway. I had to flip flop on an AirBnB and we didn't have a place for the night, and the signal for my phone kept going in and out so we couldn't get a reservation in Fort William, so we rode on to Mallaig to go to a hostel there, riding our ticket past our stop. I had planned to surprise Teysia with the Jacobite after our hike, but it turned into just the regular train on that leg of the ride, and no hike, but a place to stay in Mallaig! The bits of the ride that I got to enjoy were simply gorgeous: brown smooth hills, rain forest and mosses along Loch Lomond, stands of Mackintosh/art nouveau-esque trees at one end of another loch, the bare lands of mist at noon, just beautiful. It was worth it, though still a bit expensive.

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We got to Mallaig and saw the Jacobite, then checked into the hostel and planned things. We walked around then and Teysia got an umbrella, and we wandered the town, seeking the circular path. We eventually found what turned out to be the back end of the path, heading up the rear of the hill amongst heath and rain clouds. It was a nice little walk, with big black slugs and gurgling streams. A simple afternoon. We got some food at the Coop, and wandered back to the hostel between some skulking Italians (Bulgarians? Slavs?) smoking cigarettes while squatting out front, to dance with others in the hostel kitchen to get it warmed up. A Brit couple were having trouble with the Starship Enterprisian electric range, and I had trouble when the microwave, in response to my inputs, only displayed "CHILD", as if it knew me. A cute couple of French girls planned in one corner on a laptop while the old drunk sipped his whiskey by the window in the lounge, muttering to himself. Another older man stormed in at random and started commanding half the kitchen space, so I scurried. Teysia and I ate on the lovely covered patio. She talked with History, I photographed flowers. It was a nice evening. We got up and redded for bed and an early morning. 

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NotesJacob Sell Hicks