The second day of the Highlands adventure began with a breakfast equally impressive as the dinner the previous night. After eating breakfast we headed back out into the countryside and moved on towards Ft. William.
The scenery seemed even more amazing than the first day as we were now going much deeper into the Highlands. We stopped at a loch (I think it was Loch Logan?) and got out to take pictures. It was at this time that not only I, but also every other member of the trip, found out what midges were first-hand. They were everywhere and they swarmed and bit us all over our bodies. I had bought some midge cream earlier that morning (from the advice of the Australians the previous night), but I didn’t think to put it on and it was in my bag. After braving the midges to take pictures, everyone ran back onto the bus, and even after we took off, there were still midges flying all around the inside of the bus. At this point midges became kind of a running joke with the group that I am sure will carry on throughout the trip.
Speaking of midges, we stopped off at a spot to make a pit stop, and I found a book in the gift shop about midges that was pretty funny. It was kind of expensive for what it was, so I didn’t buy it, but I did buy another book on Scottish myths and legends as another source for my project.
For lunch we stopped at Ft. William, which was a neat town with a lot of boats. The main strip had several shops and there were some large statues as well as a lift that went up into the mountains. We didn’t have much time for exploring, though.
After Ft. William we headed to Glenfinnan to see the bridge used in the Harry Potter films. It was OK, but obviously there was some CG involved in making it look how it does in the movies. It was still very neat to be able to see it just because it is the bridge from the Harry Potter films though. It was also the landing site for Bonnie Prince Charlie, and there was a large statue over next to the loch.
We then ended the day in Oban, which is an amazing town. There were some castle ruins we saw when we first got there, as well as a coliseum built high up on a hill overlooking the city. I walked around the town and checked out several shops. I spent a good amount of time looking around a bookstore. Because I have worked at bookstores for several years, I am around books all the time, and one thing that was very interesting was seeing how different the covers of many books are in the UK from the US versions.
We had dinner at an Italian restaurant and it was OK, but not that great, and then I set off looking around at some taverns around the city. I found a little pub called the Tartan Tavern which was very small but had a certain neatness to it I couldn’t really put my finger on. Eventually I met up with a bunch of people from the group and we hung out at a tavern close to the Italian restaurant we ate at previously.
When we got back to the hotel there was a wedding party going on and we hung out with them for a bit, though the groom was a bit too drunk and started going off on Americans in general before someone calmed him down. It was a bit awkward, but after he calmed down we had a good time hanging out with them.