I'm not a big fan of Harry Potter, I must admit. But I certainly am a big fan of Glenfinnan. When I came here for the first time I didn't even realize Harry Potter's 'Hogwarts Express' is the same train that passes through this very valley twice a day. I have seen it. Twice. Not that I didn't like it. But to be honest, I was more flabbergasted with the gigantic structure of the viaduct that holds it there. 
Glenfinnan viaduct, photo: Marcin Jaroszek
- Glenfinnan viaduct, photo: Marcin Jaroszek

We just wanted to see some sights. I didn't really know where to go after spending a few rainy hours in the Fort William area. The GPS showed us this place. We got there within 30 minutes to barely find a parking space along the road. We went to the Glenfinnan Monument right across from the loch and saw a crowd of people gathering on the nearby hill. There was a bunch of American guys standing at the monument, to whom I inquired about the nature of this somewhat baffling gathering. They gave me a quick reply: "They're waiting for something." A train, I figured out a few minutes later.

We rushed up the hill immediately almost certain we would be late for this twice-a-day experience. After all, the crowd of adventure seekers had certainly been waiting there for more than an hour. We had just gotten there a few minutes earlier after randomly selecting the sight on our navigation system. Who says that luck doesn't exist?

From gentle whispers to waves of genuine excitement, from fidgeting a little to moving franticly back and forth, the Harry Potter fans raised their cameras and looked north towards the viaduct. Here it came, an old red train cheerfully whistling and puffing steam into the air. It all lasted a minute or so. And after that the train was gone. And so was all the excitement that had brought these hundred folks to the hill on this rainy, chilly afternoon. As soon as the whole experience came to an end I realized all of a sudden: I had just seen the Hogwarts Express. And then I had to learn to live with this...>>>


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