Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Some scenic journeys

I forgot to mention before that on my trip back from Belfast, on the Manchester-to-Inverness stint of the journey, the view from the plane was incredible. Coming out of Manchester itself, I could see Yorkshire and some of the Lakes District quite well. Then it got cloudier for a bit, but the clouds cleared around Glasgow and so Tina and I could see everything from Glasgow northward.

I could see all the peninsula of Argyll, and Loch Lomond, and then Ben Nevis (it is quite big) and Skye. Could pick out Loch Ness by it's length and see the Highland mountains to the north. As we neared Inverness airport, we got close up views of the Black Isle and the Moray coast, including Findhorn beach, and the Cairngorm Mountains in the near distance. It was really cool. If I'd had a flight like that a year ago, it wouldn't have been as cool because I didn't know enough geography to name things - it would have looked nice, but being able to put a name to the regions now made it better for me.

Then last week when I left Corrour, which is on the West Highland Line of the railroad, I took the train all the way to Mallaig. The West Highland Line is rated as one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world (it starts in Glasgow and I'm going to do that stretch up to Fort William later in the month).

The journey was indeed beautiful, with several places being stunning. Not being able to take pictures from inside a train very well, I was just going to direct you to some photos of the places I saw taken by other people. However, it has proved difficult to find a nice site with loads of pictures. I've put up a map here; the railroad is already marked on it and I've just put a few place names in to guide your eye. If you're really keen for photos, you could search place names in Google image search; I've linked to a few searches below.

Glenfinnan topped the list of stunning places. The railroad crosses the glen on the Glenfinnan Viaduct, now famous to the world for appearing in the Harry Potter films. The vantage point from the viaduct allows you to see either way down the glen. I could see the Glenfinnan Monument, which marks where ol' Bonnie Prince Charlie first started out on his campaign in 1745.

Photos of Glenfinnan: try here, here, Google image search here.

Other places: Loch Treig, Loch Eil, Lochailort, coast near Arisaig

Then from Maillaig, I took the ferry to Armadale on Skye. I have some of my own pictures of that, in this album.

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