No railway trip through Scotland June/July 2010 (4/4, 50 p.)

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Proud Earthling

June 30, departure from Glenfinnan after a short stop, Black 5 45231 was showing its power on the grade:

The accompanying video:

4th hand

Moi, Ben Nevis in the background

The 3rd hand in perfect harmony

Now we chased the train conveniently even with emergency wheel, here at the shores of Loch Eilt

And my dream spot: Loch-nan-Uamh viaduct at the completely smooth sea, the Jacobite thundered across it in rapid pace

At Mallaig it became a slow holiday again, after buying a ferry ticket we fed the remnants of our fish&chips to young seagulls.

During the short ride to the Isle of Skye we had these beautiful panoramic views

Also on the isle itself

Sadly we could enjoy it only briefly as we had to get to Inverness. A view back from the bridge at Kyle of Lochalsh, which was just being built when I had been there last in 1995.

Along the road we met this class 158 Inverness - Kyle at the shores of Loch Carron near Ardnarff

On the way to the isles

Shortly before 6 p.m. we reached Inverness airport, where they suddenly told us that changing the cars would cost 150 Pounds and we should rather look for a replacement tyre at local merchants which would be cheaper. Of course all relevant shops had just closed...
We enjoyed our dinner at Moray Firth with view of Kessock Bridge.

We already had found an accomodation before at Garve, so I could catch the morning commuter from Kyle to Inverness at Loch Garve before breakfast next morning.

Then we visited five tyre merchants, only one had the correct model, for 157 Pounds! So we looked to exchange the car at the airport, which suddenly only cost 100 Pounds as there was someone else sitting at the desk! Finally, around noon, we could depart towards the north in exactly the same car type. At least we later got a good compensation for our odyssee, after a few complaints...

View towards Ben Loyal, already high up north

At the northern coast with Tongue Castle

Tongue bay

To enjoy the panorama around Ben Hope we walked a little, there were new views and moods to be found around every corner...

We had to drive round Loch Eribol a long way

Until we reached the dream location Ceannabeinne Beach

The weather was suddenly changing...

... only to be lovely again an hour later

We made a little detour, view at the Summer Isles near Altandhu

The bay of Ardmair

At Ullapool we had award-winning fish&chips for dinner

10 p.m. at the fjord of Ullapool, Loch Broom

And the big finale of the day at Loch Droma, from here we only had to drive half an hour to our hotel.

Next morning, again shortly before breakfast, I was surprised by the early class 158 from Kyle

Garve station

We took the route south via Balmoral Castle, as requested by one travel companion, a rather mountainous way through the Grampian Mountains.

The kitsch of Balmoral Castle, summer residence of the Queen

After half a day of driving we returned to Glasgow, pour James Watt probably already had seen better times...

We took a class 170 Edinburgh

There was some confusion with the last EC-train to London, 19:00 from Edinburgh, which was shown for some time as "cancelled". But it turned out it was only cancelled Glasgow - Edinburgh, a "trespassing incident" near Durham had led to some disruptions on the ECML. As platform we were given number 8, and a large current of people streamed across the old pedestrian overpass. Inside the train there was plenty of space, however, and we had a reservation anyway together with out cheap tickets.

We arrived punctually at Kings Cross and changed to St. Pancras, where the rail replacement should be waiting. And really, at 0:30 a First double decker pulled up, inside which we were the only passengers. On the upper level in front we got a private nighttime sightseeing tour through London.

We reached London Bridge early, the southern terminal during construction work. Our FCC class was just arriving

The pretty terminal part of London Bridge, sadly the transit station was disfigured by "architecture" from the 1970s probably built using leftover pipes from the sewer system.

We stayed overnight again at the Croydon Travelodge and could conveniently move on to Gatwick next morning.

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