Tag Archives: Trains

Around the World in 72 days

By the numbers:

72 days from Reno, Nevada west to Charleston, South Carolina.

39 beds

27 flights and approx. 40,000 miles

24 trains

23 countries

10 buses

9 boats

numerous taxi’s

and…

1 camel

 

 

*photo – A bit of home in Frankfurt, Germany

 

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka – where tourism is in it’s infancy after the end of a 30 year civil war in 2009. Beautiful scenery, UNESCO World Heritage sites, super friendly people and flavorful food make this country a must see.

It feels like India without the hectic, overcrowded atmosphere.

Trains clank and shuffle through rainforests to stunning beaches. Slow travel. In contrast the tuk tuks buzzing around as if they were on a race track jockeying for a first place finish.

*click on any photo to enlarge.

Bats the size of eagles and the sounds of thousands of crows ring in your ears no matter where you are – both giving you the sense that Alfred Hitchcock must be filming nearby. My mother’s fear of birds would have left her horrified.

Colombo’s (capital city) historic landmarks include Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple housing a Hair Relic of Lord Buddha and Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara where Buddha visited Sri Lanka his third and final visit – 8 years after gaining enlightenment. The peacefulness and custom of leaving flowers as gifts left a lasting impression.

The temple’s elephants left us feeling like children.

 

Kandy’s UNESCO Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic found us unprepared for their dress code. I brought a scarf which was too sheer, my skirt which covered my knees too short, Bill’s Buddha t-shirt blasphemous and his shorts just a wee big too short. For $2 we rented colorful sarongs and made the Buddha gods happy.

The monkeys around Kandy Lake were charming for all of 5 minutes until we realized what pesky animals they really are – stealing food from people and attacking with vigor.

Galle is a stunning beach town at the southern tip of Sri Lanka attracting hundreds of surfers.

Unfortunately, I was sick and spent the whole time in bed – missing out on photographing the famous stilt fishermen. Next time…

Photo of the Day 288

Travelled to Ballinasloe, Ireland today to see where my great grandfather lived. He left from this train station in 1911 to immigrate to America.

#ballinasloe #ireland #trainstation #america #photooftheday #photofrommyday2016 
Happy Birthday to my oldest son, Preston!

October 14, 2016

All things “train” from a hobo’s lens

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RAILROAD, n. The chief of many mechanical devices enabling us to get away from where we are to where we are no better off. For this purpose the railroad is held in highest favor by the optimist, for it permits him to make the transit with great expedition. — Ambrose Bierce

A train to somewhere from Asia to Europe – the yin and yang of travel.

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Vietnam – Trains packed tighter than sardines in a can. In first class, windows are open hoping to catch a breeze to lighten the stifling air – cushioned seats are full (wooden benches in 2nd class) – aisles are filled with passengers, perched in a near fetal position on a child’s plastic stool. The 6″ area behind the rear seat shelters a body, curled up on a woven straw mat, toes peeking out.

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Boxes are filled with crickets, snakes, roosters and God knows what else. The food car serves up cupfuls of slime, something that would tangle our fishing line in a still warm lake.

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Rooster in the box.

Rooster in the box.

In between…

India – Smiling, friendly, religious zealots, who kissed our toes and touched our foreheads. Merchants cruised up and down the aisles hawking every item imaginable from sarees to nail clippers – 6 beds to a room with no doors on a full train.

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Eastern Europe – Backpackers galore, train cars from 2 person personal sleepers to a 100+ sleeper car with no air and sweltering heat poaching our skin. Generic.

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Europe – Cushioned seats are full and that is that – no poachers. The air conditioning hum can hardly be heard it runs so smoothly. Windows closed. No color, sterile… vanilla 😉

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The absurdity of the brain – In Vietnam we imagine the cleanliness and civility of European train travel. As we traveled west in Europe we longed for the lively stimulating train travel in Vietnam. Go figure…

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