September 1 – Fort William

I like Fort William.  It is a charming town.  The main street, High Street, has lots of restaurants, pubs, shops, everything one could want from a small town.  It has some very old architecture and is surrounded by history., recent and ancient. 

Rest day today, kind of.  I wandered around Fort William in the morning and had coffee and a treat at Costa (the Starbucks like shop).  I walked down to the river Linnhe.  I went to the West Highland museum where I watched a short movie filmed during WWII showing how the commandos were trained.  The commandos, we know them as Green Berets, were trained just north of Fort William to serve in special operations.  It was the first elite fighting force the UK  ever had.  There are a few rooms devoted to their exploits.  They had a room devoted to geologic formations.  And a room about bonnie Prince Charles whose escapades still form a large part of the lore in Scotland.  Read about it if you are interested.  It is quite a time in English/Scottish history.  I got directions to the Inverlochy castle ruins which was the site of many battles.  It was a 5 mile round trip walk which was a piece of cake at this stage.  There was a really old cemetery and the site of an ancient battle.  I couldn’t get to that site because  there was monster equipment all over tearing up roads, sidewalks and whatever else they coul get in their jaws.

It was a warm day with skies as sunny as they can get around here.  I had Cullen skink soup at Café 115.  It sounds nasty but it is really quite good.  It is bits of haddock in a white broth with bread.  More wandering and enjoying the peacefulness and the people.  I came back to the B & B and wrote a few more articles for the blog and attempted once again to upload pictures.  I got some up but am still waiting for the perfect wifi to get it done.  Tried the library but you had to have a library card to use it.  For dinner I felt like having something that was not in the Scottish vein.  I looked in at a Thai-Indian restaurant in town but it didn’t have any customers which I felt could be for a good reason.  I wandered around some more and at the very end of town there is an Indian Restaurant and it was packed.  But they did have one single table available and, loving Indian food, I sat down.  I am not an aficionado of Indian food so I called step daughter Kelle who is but no answer so I called her twin Kristle who also is learned in Indian food and she gave me some ideas.  So I had the Balti chicken tikka which is chicken in sauce and rice.  It was delicious.

I made some phone calls which I have only occasionally been able to do during the trip.  I called my 91 year old dad to tell him I was okay.  I have been able to talk to Alana almost every day which gives me and she keeps me up to date on what is happening in the real world.  I have been also using WhatsApp with Alana which allows you to use video and voice.  That has been a nice surprise.  We can also use skype.   I have ben activating the phone every day which is $10 a day through Verizon.  I wasn’t going to use that much but it has come in handy.

I even treated myself to an ice cream cone.