August 11 – Fort William is a quiet city on the bank of Loch Linnhe. It marks the end of the West Highland Way, entrance for the climb up Ben Nevis, and the beginning of the Great Glen Way, which we will start hiking in a few days. For some of us, it was the fort commanded by the evil Black Jack Randall in the Outlander books. Here’s what it looks like today. There is a pedestrian shopping street:
We had the opportunity to eat some traditional Scottish foods while we were here: Scotch broth (with carrots and barley just like my Grandma made it), Scotch pie (a minced beef and spice pie with a soft crust) and Scotch eggs (a hard boiled egg surrounded by sausage meat encased in bread crumbs). All delicious.
We also finally tried haggis, which is sausage made of sheep’s pluck (heart, lungs and liver) cooked with onion and oatmeal in a sheep’s stomach. It tastes sort of like liverwurst – an acquired taste.
There are pretty churches here:
There is a Highland Museum with lots of old stuff:
A grassy town square with lots of folks and dogs enjoying the 70 degree day:
In 1911, a local car dealer drove a Model T up Ben Nevis. He and his car are commemorated on the town square.
We walked a bit north of town to see the old Inverlochy Castle, built in 1270 on the bank of River Lochy, and captured and burned by Robert the Bruce in 1307. It can be viewed from all sides, but is fenced to prevent visitors from climbing on the old crumbling walls.
Here’s an old painting of the castle we saw in the museum:
A relaxing break from the trail!