Sunday, May 31, 2009

train impressions

once again with the train, and despite the dampness of my jeans and the rainwater pooled on my backpack from the journey to the station, it was an amazingly beautiful train ride, and of course, the rain ceased once i made it to the train station. the french trains are well organized and supremely cushy. my provisions were delicious. and there wasn't a single baby (that felt the need to make itself heard throughout the duration of the ride anyway) and overall the montpellier to brussles portion of the journey was reletively flawless. five hours spent daydreaming and peering excitedly through the window (i miraculously scored a window seat) at the scenery, straight out of a painting, which sped past in a blaze of thick velvety fields and jewel-bright blue skys adorned with the most picture perfect fluffy clouds. if only i could have photographed it all, but all that would have shown would have been a blur of colors and my face reflected in the glass. too bad.
however, i must here make a comment about the belgian train i took from brussles supposedly direct to amsterdam. it was filthier than a bad track muni bus, damp and overcrowded with insufficiently sized luggage racks which deposited their contents periodically upon the occupents unsuspecting heads. after over an hour of jostled elbow-y travel in a hard plastic seat with a sticky fingered child sitting next to me on what was clearly never intended to seat more than one person, during which i befreinded the american sitting across from me (taking a weeks holiday to see his sister in amsterdam) the train came to a sudden stop at a rather out of the way, uninteresting station, and emptied rather alarmingly. we streached out, ggrateful to the newly aquired roominess of our carrige, only to have a man come down the aisle to inform us that this was as far as the train was going before returning to brussles and we must immediatly depart. well this was odd. the train was supposed to be non stop. i was somewhat baffled. and after consulting the ticket-collecter-woman (who had incidentally never been seen to collect a single ticket) i discovered that this was just a fluke today, it is normally a much nicer train, it normally runs direct to amsterdam however due to complications today specifically and for unknown reason of course, this was not the case and i would have to board another train to amsterdam and no she had no idea which one as she was not from the dutch train system and had no idea how their lines were oriented and therefor no help.
shortly however a train pulled up to the station, massive and shiny and double decker, with amsterdam central emblazened in lights upon it's side and i immediatly got on and made it sucsessfully to amsterdam (this was according to another passenger the type of train it should have been direct from amsterdam of course) and the tram was simple to locate (though the most difficult to maintain a standing position i have ever encountered) and easy to navigate to the hostel which is palacial and incredibly clean (and green, recycling and resposible water notices everywhere) with pool tables and a bar and free breakfast (at which they provide nutella!) and the city seems tidy and small enough to be easily traveled on foot and i am looking forward to seeing some of the paintings which i was so distinctly reminded of during my countryside-gazing on the train yesterday afternoon. crazy one eared man anyone?


  1. Hiya Max!

    yah that train ride was crazy cramped! but the world melted away while talking to you! have fun and bon chance on the rest of Europe!

    btw the email didn't work for facebook... mind adding me?! :P

  2. yea for nutella! your adventures enthrall me thanks for sharing mj