Trip Start Jan 03, 1976
171Trip End Ongoing
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Fort William is a sweet little town in the Scottish Highlands. On our last trip to Scotland we had stopped here by accident (if I remember rightly it was me demanding food) and so it was nice to have an idea of where Trace and Brad had ended up.. After they were there for a few months I used the excuse of visiting them for a holiday and headed up for a week.
You have to get the train from Glasgow up to FW and its supposed to be one of the prettiest train rides around, but sadly as I went up in the evening I saw nothing but black.. There are obviously quite a few locals who make this journey a bit (its around 3 hours) and all the way up they were chatting in their strong Scottish accents and I couldn't understand a word
I arrived at the train station with no idea where to go and it was pouring rain. About five minutes later Tracey showed up with a giant umbrella, which did its best to protect us from the rain, but didn't really succeed. Lucky Fort William is such a small town, because about two minutes later we arrived at Tracey and Brads..
Happily about two days later the rain on arrival turned to snow, in a lot of cases it was sleet, but there was snow too. Most mornings I woke up and looked out the window to varying degrees of white, from a smatter, to everything covered in snow. Anyone who has traveled with me before is well aware of my inability to pack. We have instances of going to the Grand Canyon in a singlet and thongs (shoes) to find snow. We have arriving in Dortmund with nothing but winter clothes, to find sun, the Volcano in Hawaii (who would have thought one would be cold) and many more instances of emergency stops in the nearest clothing store. Fort William was of course no different (why break the mould?). Lucky for me Brad had bought Tracey a new ski jacket for Christmas so I was able to wear her (very warm) old one.
Even though it kept snowing, it wasn't enough to open the ski fields, until about Thursday, so off we went. You catch a little gondola up the mountain (Ben Nevis, the highest in the UK), which is fun in itself, especially as I got a discounted ticket, being a friend of the workers.
Up the top it was windy, and only two runs were open. But all kitted out in my free gear (friend of workers) we had to give it a go. So up we went, and down we skidded. Somewhere we lost Tracey and so we went up again without her, and came down a different run. I have never skied on such a run, skiing along on an ice/dirt patch and then whoa suddenly a snowdrift. Unfortunately the fences next to the run had big snowdrifts around them, so of course guess where I headed. About ten minutes later I managed to drag myself out and went off down the mountain again. Visibility was very limited, very windy and although it wasn't a whiteout, it was close enough. So imagine my surprise when I hit a ski jump half way down the hill. Only it wasn't a ski jump, it was Brad who had fallen over. Lucky Tracey didn't see us as I was sprawled all over Brad and stuck!! We finally untangled but it still makes me giggle to think of running into Brad on my way down.
One borrowed jacket