We did a whole lot of nothing the next day, and it was glorious. We rode a ride a ferry all day long. The ferry took us to the islands of Eigg and Muck before turning around to make the return trip. I think the entire road took about five hours.
We played cards to kill some time. First Anna introduced us to a game called A$$hole. It’s not the game you’re probably thinking of. They have nothing to do with one another, except for the fact that I always come out victorious in both.
Yana seemed to get a bit stressed by the rules of the game, so I suggested we play a much simpler game: Dobble. My friends Julian and Paulenna introduced me to it.
Hand out all the cards and flip over the last one. Each card has a bunch of random pictures on them, like a turtle, four leaf clover, a clown, fire, an ice cube, etc. Pick up the top card in your pile. Your card will also have a bunch of random pictures on it. Every card in the deck has one picture that matches every card in the deck. Your job is to find the picture in the card in your hand that matches the picture that is face up. Once you spot it, call it out and play your card as fast as you can. Pick up the next card in your deck and keep going. The first person to finish their pile wins.
So basically, all you have to do is find the match and say it. That’s it. And yet it’s actually deceptively challenging. Sometimes you get so frustrated looking for the match, and you can’t see it, even though it’s staring you right in the face! I know, because this happens to me every single game. I’m terrible at it.
But not today! I actually won a game today! It was only one out of several, but I still won one!
In hindsight, it might have been a good idea to get off at Eigg and explore for a couple hours until the ferry came back around on its way back to Mallaig, but we stayed on and continued to Muck. It was what Eamon had suggested. And again, the weather didn’t start to clear up anyway until we started to make our way back anyway.
We had to say goodbye to our new German friends once we got back to Mallaig. They had given us some delicious chocolates earlier on as a thank you for letting them tag along. The chocolates had melted in the car, so we ate them with a spoon. Omnomnomnomnom.
As we were leaving the ferry, though, a guy with his girlfriend and their two dogs asked if I could give them a ride to a different ferry terminal where they had parked. It was only ten minutes away and it was on our way to Fort William anyway, so we gave the guy a lift. His girlfriend waited with their bags and the dogs while we drove the guy out to pick up the car. They were from Belgium and had recently moved to Scotland for work. They were only two months in, so they were still exploring their new home country.
With our good deed done for the day, we headed out to Fort William. On the way, I stopped at a random spot to take in a picturesque view. I climbed a small hill, and when I got to the top, I saw a steam train off in the distance. It wasn’t just any steam train, though. It was the Jacobite train, more commonly known as the Hogwarts freakin’ Express! Just our luck! The train only runs twice a day, and we just happened to catch it! I turned and yelled at Doris, who was playing with God know what in the car. When I finally got her attention, I yelled, “Traaaaain!” and she thankfully heard me through the windshield. Her eyes widened and she rushed to put on her shoes and come join me.
We got back in the car after snapping a few quick pictures and headed for Glenfinnan to walk up to the Glenfinnan Viaduct, made famous by the Hogwards Express.
I had checked a few days earlier, and there were no tickets available for the Jacobite Express. However, when we got to Glenfinnan, I asked again just to be sure. The woman at the desk of the Glenfinnan Station Museum explained that the make a small handful of tickets available for purchase at the Fort William station every morning on the day of.
Doris and I crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.