Journal of Alice

Alice - why do you love going to different countries?

30 May ’16

A small part of me is collecting countries the same way I’m collecting train lines, I travel to tick places off on my map. It’s the same reason I’ve found myself addictedly playing SimCity again this weekend.

But there’s more to it than that. I travel because I can and I travel to make and hear stories. The past few years have been the first time in my life where I have the money, spoons and freedom to do this. And to not take advantage of that would be wrong.

I travel to all these countries in order to share stories because others can’t.

the train line from fort william to mallaig

22 May ’16

The train line from Fort William to Mallaig features in Harry Potter movies. That viaduct that the Hogwarts Express keeps going over is on this line. The last resting place of a certain character is an island on a Loch close by.

Also of note on this line is the most western railway station in Britain, Alisaig.

So my ride on the Jacobite steam train had fans of Scotland, Harry Potter and trains. This made for some really interesting discussions during the few hours it takes to ride both ways.

There’s not a lot to do in Mallaig, but there’s enough time for a short wander and some locally produced food.

youd think a train fan like me would enjoy this

21 May ’16

You’d think a train fan like me would enjoy this view of Glasgow Central from my hotel room. In reality it was just really noisy; I got woken up by the first long distance trains of the day.

crianlarich scotland to get from oban to fort

21 May ’16

Crianlarich, Scotland.

To get from Oban to Fort William you can get a direct bus. Most people seem to instead change trains here at Crianlarich. There’s a small village just down the hill from the station, but the station mostly seems to be here because it’s on a junction.

I was expecting an hour wait for my next train on my own, but about a dozen people changed trains here with me. One guy got his guitar out and started playing while many of the rest of us took some photos and chatted about our travels and experiences of Scotland. It was a beautiful moment that doesn’t happen when you change trains in big cities.

paul theroux in his book deep south writes about

20 May ’16

Paul Theroux in his book Deep South writes about the mock ordeal that writers have to use to make journeys around America sound more interesting. Traveling around Scotland this week I understand that well; it’s just so easy to get around, with the people so helpful, that you have to either write about the destination or tell some white lies about the journey to make an interesting post.

I’m not going to tell you any tall tales, and I never spent long enough in any destination to write about those. So the rest of my posts from Scotland are likely to be more photo-heavy.

Here’s Kyle of Lochalsh train station, terminus of the Kyle line. The Isle of Skye is just behind me.