Today our journey took us up the Caledonian Canal through Kytra and Cullochy lochs to reach the highest point of the canal at 106 feet. Loch Oich is a splendid freshwater loch with the ruin of Invergarry Castle close by, perched high on the Rock of the Raven. This castle of the MacDonnells of Glengarry was destroyed by government troops after the ’45 Rising. We then travelled through Laggan Avenue with trees reaching right down to the water and onto Loch Lochy.
Here our photo instructor Stewart Aitchison gave us tips on the basics of photography, which was highly informative and entertaining. During lunch we descended Neptune’s Staircase—these eight locks lower the water level by 64 feet, an engineering masterpiece, as this was built in the early 19th century!
We then had a perfect view of the Jacobite steam train as it passed us on its way to Mallaig. Nowadays the train is famous for its Harry Potter association as it was used in some of the films, as was the viaduct that we encountered in Glenfinnan on our afternoon excursion.
Glenfinnan is a lovely spot and despite the weather many of us ventured out to walk the nature trail or joined Iris Barry by Loch Shiel to hear more about the Jacobites. Many of us opted for the drier option of visiting the exhibition or did a spot of shopping. After our return to the ship, Tony, the chief mate of Lord of the Glens gave a talk on the Caledonian Canal. This included some information on Thomas Telford, the canal’s engineer and details on the many obstacles encountered building this 19th-century masterpiece.
This has been another enjoyable day on Lord of the Glens with some showers and some brighter weather—but we were even lucky enough to see Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain today!