|Subject: Re: Train Travel|
There is definitely an allure to train travel. It is civilized and
trains pass through scenery that is often inaccessible by car. There
is also a majesty about trains. We live two blocks from a rail line
and often stop to watch the trains pass through the neighbourhood.
Everything about trains is intriguing, even the timetables. The train
station in our neighbourhood has recently been restored and now houses
a large liquor store. The clock tower is an exact replica of the
Campanile in Venice. But this is about trains...
We have had some memorable trips. On a Pamplona-Rome trip we boarded a train that is now only seen in old movies. At the Spain/France border, we had to disembark and board an SNCF train - this in the days of narrow vs wide gauge track. I don't know if Spain has changed its tracks to align with other European rails but it was a great adventure back then.
The train from Montreal to Halifax was a long haul without a bunk but the time passed quickly as we were "adopted" by a group of friendly Newfoundlanders who were on their way home.
One morning in Cagliari, Sicily, we decided on a whim to go to Dubrovnik. We drove north, boarded a ferry, landed in Civitavecchia, dropped the car, boarded a train to Bari, and then a boat to Dubrovnik. Within 48 hours we had reached our destination. We couldn't have done it if the trains weren't so plentiful and on time.
Rome-Paris ride in the days of border crossings: As we crossed each frontier, the customs men came on board to check our passports. In the morning, as we crossed into France, we heard a gentleman calling out "cafe, croissants" and woke up very happily.
A trip between London and Liverpool where tea was served on fine china as we whisked through the countryside.
Tangiers-Rabat-Fez-Tangiers on decrepit trains that carried us through amazing terrain. At one point we were told to get off the train at Sidi Slimane (in the middle of nowhere) and when we asked a rail official when the next train would arrive, he looked down the track and said "Soon"!
In London, I visited Greenwich and Hampton Court and chose the train over the Tube. I was going "somewhere" rather than just "getting there".
In the days when I commuted between Hamilton and Toronto I would take the train over the bus whenever I had the chance. The mystique about train travel that never diminshes. Lucy, Toronto