Baden-Powell Council BSA
at the
2012 Blair Atholl Patrol Jamborette

Day 4 - July 13th - Loch Lomond and Jacobite Steam Train

Our first stop on Day 4 were the bonny banks of Loch Lomond. Loch Lomond Shores, to be precise, the visitor centre complex on the south end of the loch. 

We had a guided tour of the Loch Lomond Aquarium, lead by one of the staff aquarists, before the Scouts went off on their own to watch the fish. 

The aquarium has a huge open-ocean tank with a tunnel which puts you right among the fish. 

If you really want to be right among the fish, though, this tank is the answer.

Our visit ended at the otter tank for their morning feeding. 

Then, we drove up Loch Lomond to Fort William to catch the Jacobite Steam Train (a/k/a the Hogwarts Express for the Harry Potter fans)

There was time to visit the locomotive cab before we left. 

The train follows the extension of the West Highland Railway from Fort William to Mallaig. The track passes through spectacular scenery of hills and glens and lochs along the Road to the Isles. 

Crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct is one of the high points of the trip. You can almost see Harry Potter and Ron Weasley in their flying Ford Anglia up ahead of the train. 

New technology leads to new games: Duncan and Warren invented a game using the "smile recognition" capability of their digital cameras. Try to keep a straight face. Whoever smiles enough for the camera to take a picture loses - usually Warren. 

Chris takes a picture from the train window. 

This viaduct leads into a steep rock cut at the highest point on the line. 

"Welcome to Mallaig", and a two-hour layover with time for dinner and a walk around the little fishing village and ferry port for Skye and the smaller Hebrides.

Justyn inspects a fishing boat - maybe the one which caught...

... our dinner, from a fish and chip shop a stone's throw from the quay.

The beautiful view from the train up Glenfinnan, where Bonnie Prince Charlie landed to raise the Highland Clans in the 1745 Jacobite Rising. 

Caledonian Canal lock keeper's house at Fort William
Our train arrived back in Fort William at 8:30PM, plenty of time to get to our overnight stop in Spean Bridge before dark. Our thanks to the folks in Spean Bridge for the use of their Community Centre. 

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