All the shades of green were nicely lit by the sun as we set off along the Caledonian Canal. Some of us decided to stay on the ship while others headed out for a walk to the first lock, at Kytra. At the next lock, many of us cycled along the canal and on a former railway line that was in operation during the first half of the twentieth century.
Stunning views of the hillsides as well as Invergarry Castle, which was built in the early 1600s, were enjoyed by all. Laggan Avenue is surely one of the highlights of the canal as it feels as if you are sailing through the middle of a forest with trees coming right down to the water. On Loch Lochy, we heard a riveting talk on the Highland Clearances.
Then we sailed on toward the famous Neptune’s Staircase, where 8 locks lower and lift vessels 64 feet—an amazing achievement of nineteenth-century engineering!
We spent the afternoon kayaking near Corpach or on an excursion to Glenfinnan, a very scenic spot known today from the Harry Potter films featuring the railway viaduct.
This was the destination for the naturalist-accompanied walkers as well as the photographers, eager to take in all the different angles and sights on offer. For nature lovers enjoyed a walk to see some lovely Scots pine and glimpses of Loch Shiel.
During dinner we had a good view of the steam train (Hogwarts Express!) and also of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain at 4,406 feet. Normally the top (if not all of it!) is in the clouds! The evening was rounded off by Alistair Gibson, estate manager of Glenfinnan, who entertained us his particular sense of humour and insight into life on a highland estate.