I have always had a fondness for larger modes of transport, and, in particular, trains and airplanes. One of my earliest nightmares is being stuck inside a car, while one of my favourite memories is my paternal grandmother taking me on a train journey from our home town to Pretoria, where my grandparents lived. She would pack a lovely picnic basket, and take the train all the way from Pretoria to collect me in our town, and then ride all the way back with me. We had our own compartment, and I would listen to the clickety-clack of the wheels on the rail all the way.
My husband and I visited Germany a few times while we lived in South Africa, and I would make sure to plan long railway journeys as part of our visits. We took the train from Frankfurt to various big cities, through the Black Forest and across the breadth of Germany, and it was glorious. The clickety-clack of the wheels on the rail is gone, and the trains now move at 230km/hour or faster, but the love for the long metal tubes has not diminished.
In South Africa, I got to use the Gautrain on a regular basis, which reminded me a little of the high speed ICE trains in Germany, and introduced me to using trains as part of my daily commute, and I loved it. And now, living in the UK, this is my daily life. I have been fortunate enough to use trains to criss-cross this beautiful country over the last 18 months, and I am still in awe of this marvelous creation. And while not all trains are equal, I really enjoy the experience of being on a train, and simply cannot imagine travelling any other way.
And, with that, I leave you with a picture of our neighbour’s cat, who frequently comes around to greet us, and may, on occassion, follow us around the estate. He is also not terribly fond of taking pictures, so this is a rare, unblurry photo of him.