I’ve been to Scotland again, this time for a week. For a holiday. I went with Robert and Alan, both of whom had been there for a week already by the time I caught up with them.
I flew up from London Heathrow to Edinburgh on bmi, also known as British Midland Airways. The ticket was £15 one-way, or about £35 by the time taxes and charges had been added on. bmi are fabulous, everything about the flight was pleasant and professional. The aircraft was an Airbus. This is A Good Thing, and not just because Airbus is European. The big safety bonus is that there are gaps between the seats leading to the emergency exits, which are full sized doors. None of this scambling across seats to climb out of a window hardly bigger than your torso like you get on Boeing or McDonnell-Douglas aircraft.
Recently I’ve had to fly on Alitalia to Milan a few times. In my experience, the McDonnell-Douglas MD80 is not a very pleasant aircraft. The seats are too small and too close together (OK, this may be an Alitalia thing) and it’s a small plane. There is only room for 5 seats across, 2 one side of the aisle, 3 the other. There is a rather funky rear door, which is in the centre of the back of the aircraft. You just keep walking down the aisle and then on down the steps.
We stayed at the Easter Glenboig Cottages, near Fintry. As usual, it was fabulous. The cottages are highly recommended
One day we decided that we’d make the effort to do the West Highland train line. The problem is that you need to be in Glasgow for 08:00 to get the train to Mallaig. So we cheated and joined the train at Crianlarich, which was about a 10:00 departure. Far more sensible. There is a station car park at Crianlarich. For 10 cars
We were extremely lucky with the weather and it was gloriously sunny for the whole day. The train ride from Crianlarich to Mallaig takes in some of the most spectacularly beautiful scenery in the country. There is a large section of the line across Rannoch Moor for which there is no nearby road. Alan ran out of memory and battery taking so many photos. Absolutely gob-smacking scenery, spectacular views and simply stunning surroundings. And all this with a trolley buffet service too. Fantastic!