Tag Archives: things to do in Fort William

Last day in Fort William. Another dry, sunny day for Ben Nevis

16 Oct

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According to the Captain of the boat trip we took from Fort William on Loch Linnhe, the mountain behind the town, Ben Nevis, sees 340 days of cloud, mist and rain each year ! Above is a rare photograph of this well known monster in full sun. The educated commentary we got onboard made the trip special. The boat was full of foreign tourists from USA., Japan, China , Spain, Germany and France.

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Salmon farming is a huge business in Scotland, employing many people and producing superb fish. The fish restaurant on the docking pier was so busy that we could not get a table for four plus baby when we visited. There was a long wait to get seated.

fw-view-to-loch     This is the view, down to Loch Linnhe from the end of Fort William High Street. It is two decades since I was last there. On business with a colleague, heading ultimately up to Inverness , we “drank ourselves” a tee shirt each in the cellar bar on the High Street. I think it was a promotion for Drambuie but we went the extra mile and drank the required measures as Rusty Nails. A cocktail of Drambuie and Whisky. Oh, what a night………………………….

We enjoyed our time in Fort William. I will be talking about camper vans, stealth camping and adventure motor homes in forthcoming posts about the next stages of the journey to Mallaig and then the stunning, awesome, beautiful and welcoming Isle of Skye! Promise to get back on track with the Blog!

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Glasgow to Fort William by Scots Train

16 Oct

glasgow-to-fw-viewglasgow-to-fw-trainglasgow-to-fw-train-view

Took the early train from Glasgow Queenstreet for Fort William. Fantastic scenery on this section particularly south of Tulloch.The rock gullies close to Roy Bridges were surreal to see. A young lady sitting nearby was from Toronto and lived just an hour from where my gran and grandfather lived at Hamilton, Ontario. On arrival at Fort William it was a short walk to another apartment, this time in the High Street itself, close to all shops, bars and restaurants.

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fw-shops-1 View from one of the apartment windows. We stayed here for three nights.

After a good night’s sleep, we took “Gog’s Taxi. Fast and Friendly!” and he was too . We reached Glen Nevis to find that a rock fall had blocked the walk to the upper falls so we diverted from the Lower Falls car park for a hefty uphill “stroll” through the forest. For a while we joined up with a French couple after explaining , in my schoolboy French why the originally desired path was closed.

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glen-nevis-waterfall Sunny weather. A view of Ben Nevis. Waterfalls and zero midges. Paradise!

Gog was back at the rendezvous point, bang on time, in his Taxi. He took us back to Fort William.

After lunch at the deli, we visited the Highland Museum just a few doors away. As usual, I got left behind as I became more nad more engrossed in the History presented to me. In anticipation of more difficult rambling to come we bought hiking sticks in town.

fw-museum-1 This painting is on the horizontal surface. It can only be seen in the reflection on a cylindrical mirror placed vertically on it’s optical centre. Art from chaos?? Brilliant !

Next day, I visited the Whisky Shop and browsed, researched, tasted and bought some sample single malts. I was given, yes given, a quarter of a bottle of Loch Fyne! Two tasting glasses and magazines for my boosy friends back home. What a lovely Lady! I did consider the weight of carrying these bottled malts but in the end it was fine. I threw away all my heavy clothes!

whisky-shop-fort-william This quarter bottle of over strength whisky was drank over the following several days. Although others in our party tried a sip, none were friends of whisky and so I got to enjoy this “living cask” example. A living cask is a spirit version of what can be done with sherry or port. Using fortified wines, they are known as “solara”. An amateur blend of favourite malts can be made by continually topping up a whisky vessel (preferably in oak cask) as it is drank. With skill and growing knowledge, you can adjust to flavours and character of the blend as time passes by. Totally by accident, I have been doing this for a few years now with cognac and various favourite brandies including Spanish and Greek blends. Not for the purist but it is all in the taste.

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With single malts hovering just under £50 per bottle, I do not think that I shall be repeating my Cognac tampering with whisky, much as I would like. Thank goodness that I am permitted to drink alcohol again, in moderation. It is a great pleasure and adds to the spice of life, in my humble opinion. Just treat strong spirits with respect.

Next, we take a boat out of Fort William for rare views of Ben Nevis in full sun. Cloudless!  The Gods were definitely favourable to us!