This morning Lachlan had the right idea, throwing magic spells around the apartment at everyone. We hope you all enjoy Super Mum’s Vegemite pyjamas.
After a leisurely start to the morning, we made our way down to the main street, it was shaping up for another beautiful day. On the way, Lachlan smashed out the full West Highland Way, from Emma’s house to Fort William. It only took us 491 days and a car.
After a much needed coffee, the six of us hit up the souvenir circuit in search of sweet merch. Lachlan was dashing about yelling “dinsore, dinsore, dino” while pointing to his pal, Nessie. No wonder we couldn’t find him at Lach Ness.
Sick of shopping, Lachlan set the pace down High Street, catch him if you can.
We bumped into Henry Ford and his Model T which we thought was pretty neat. We were a bit confused what Henry Ford had to do with Fort William. “Motor enthusiast Henry Alexander made the triumphant journey up the Scottish Mountain in his Model T Ford car in May 1911. Now, more than 100 years later, a three ton bronze sculpture of his car named ‘The Bronze Ford’ has been created and is scheduled to be unveiled in the town’s Cameron Square on May 19”. Eloise lept behind the wheel, keen to drive again.
Lachlan then found his own wee chair which gave us all a breather, not sure who was happier.
Eloise was interested to learn how to use binoculars while Nali and Grandpa DAVE were waiting for the Scottish sun to appear so they could tell the time.
By this point, we realised we would need the hiking carrier to get through.
We stocked up with snacks for the day with our first wild sighting of the two new Irn-Bru flavors.
With a little time up our sleeve, we made the scenic trip to our ride today.
It was then time to board the Hogwarts Express. Eloise won best dressed. We were all super excited, this had been on the to-do list for quite some time. If you couldn’t tell from half a dozen of our previous blog posts we are massive Harry Potter fans. We are still doing our best to brainwash Eloise and Lachlan into thinking they are living in Harry’s world. We are looking forward to showing them photos of them in the wizarding world when they are older.
Unfortunately, Eloise did not know the spell to get her shoes on the correct feet.
Lachlan was the real winner though as he was seated next to a “woof, look woof, woof”. Disappointingly, there were no owls, well none that we saw. Just as we reached Neptune’s Staircase. Lachlan then clocked off for the day. Eloise was determined to make herself witch sick as she was persistent with the binoculars.
Neptune’s Staircase is a staircase lock comprising eight locks on the Caledonian Canal. Built by Thomas Telford between 1803 and 1822, it is the longest staircase lock in Britain. The system was originally hand-powered but has been converted to hydraulic operation.
The mood inside the Hogwarts Express peaked as we passed over the incredible Glenfinnan Viaduct. Our seats were on the outside of the bend on our way out but we managed to sneak a shot across the train.
The Glenfinnan Viaduct is a railway viaduct on the West Highland Line in Glenfinnan, Inverness-shire, Scotland, built from 1897 to 1901. Located at the top of Loch Shiel in the West Scottish Highlands, the viaduct overlooks the Glenfinnan Monument and the waters of Loch Shiel. Glenfinnan Viaduct has been used as a location in several films and television series, including … four of the Harry Potter films. After its appearance in Harry Potter, British Transport Police had to warn fans not to walk on the viaduct after a handful of near misses with trains had occurred. The Glenfinnan Viaduct features on some Scottish banknotes. The 2007 series of notes issued by the Bank of Scotland depicts different bridges in Scotland as examples of Scottish engineering, and the £10 note features the Glenfinnan Viaduct.
It was safe to say that we were not the only fans.
There was a short break at Glenfinnan Station, which was not lacking any laughter. It was also good to see we were not running out of steam this time.
Back on the Hogwarts Express, Nali and Grandpa DAVE were checking out the merch trolley. Sadly, the chocolate frogs did not jump.
If the Glenfinnan Viaduct was not enough for Harry Potter fans, we also passed Eilean na Moine Island in Loch Eilt, this is where Dumbledore was laid to rest and Voldemort acquired the Elder Wand.
The next stop was at Arisaig Station the most westerly station in mainland Britain. As we stopped the morning Hogwarts Express passed us pulling its carriages in reverse back to Fort William. Eloise thought the train going backwards was very funny.
Just after two hours as we were pulling into Mallaig, whoops, I mean Hogwarts. Lachlan woke up just in time to see a big rock. Although they did let us into the engine room.
After climbing some moving staircases and enthusiastically chanting a few spells we shuffled down Haggard Alley and magically Darryl appeared we made sure to keep him away from the Whomping Willow after our previous encounter.
Lachlan was having fun collecting snails. Elosie had grand plans to stock up on her favorite headband.
After a couple of hours, it was back to the Hogwarts Express, Eloise was quite confused about why we were traveling the same route. The kids just go with the flow now. Now much closer to the steam engine, it was much louder. Lachlan was feeding off of the energy. With the window open we actually got some soot in the cabin as we passed through the tunnels.
The return train is arranged so that the witches and wizards are on the opposite carriage side. Super Mum was in prime position for the Harry Potter Bridge and got some great snaps of Nali and King Lachlan waving to their fans.
Lachlan then transformed into a parrot and then a cheeky monkey. Welcome to tricky trains with Lachlan. They had been brilliant and it had been a long day.
By the time Lachlan had selected dinner and we had made it back to the apartment, the fog had settled in.
We all thought the thrills on a memorable day were done, when all of a sudden Grandpa DAVE pulled out an enormous map, much to Eloise’s amusement. No wonder Eloise is obsessed with maps, that’s where she gets it from.
A tad earlier than yesterday, the kids were asleep… More or less… By 21:30.
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