So, it turns out the UK is bigger than I thought. Because Meredith and I are traversing most of it today, on our way from Fort William, Scotland all the way back to London Kings Cross.
We’ve already taken the small, two-car West Highland Line from Fort William - departure at 7:44am on a Saturday, thankyouverymuch! - to Glasgow Queen Street. Then we switched to the commuter line between Glasgow and Edinburgh. And now, finally, we’re on our last train, which will take us all the way home to London, just in time for Meredith to catch her flight back to the U.S. tomorrow morning.
The whole journey is meant to take us 10 hours to the minute, meaning we’re scheduled to pull in at 17:44. That’s a lot of train-ing in one day, perhaps the longest train journey of my life!
But it’s not so bad. For one thing, the elderly couple sitting behind us have absolutely SMASHING British accents. The husband literally just used the expression “I say,” which I didn’t think anyone actually did anymore! For another thing, the train ticket collector is hilarious, and, I dare say, was flirting with a friendly woman accompanying her two young (and adorable) grandchildren.
And of course, the scenery doesn’t hurt. Our first train actually retraced a lot of our steps along the West Highland Way. We saw the spot we stopped for lunch on Day One, across a stream from a field full of cows. We passed by the Bridge of Orchy hotel, just before we climbed the hill to look down on Inveroran. And we had one final opportunity to wave goodbye to Crianlarich (aka Crackleberry), where it all began just a scant five days ago.
And now I’m sitting in my window seat, nose pressed up against the window, watching British trees and hayfields pass by. It was a lovely Scottish adventure.
And in two hours and 9 minutes, I will be home.