Thursday, March 31, 2011

Trains, trains, and more trains!

I’ve always had a sort of romantic idea of trains. I guess it’s from all those Victorian-era films with long goodbyes on the train station platforms and old-fashioned trunks full of secret treasures. I don’t know why, but I’ve always thought of trains like that. You would think that I would have changed my mind after a certain cold and sketchy train ride across South Africa or after baring all on the steps of a crowded train station in Cairo, but somehow I’ve still entertained this romantic idea of trains. Until this past month that is. Now I am trained-out. I have ridden so many trains, I am literally sick of them!

It all started with a freezing cold overnight train-ride to Denmark. When I say freezing, I mean FREEZING! Now I can sleep just about anywhere, but the cold on this train had me beat. By morning, I had wrapped myself in every layer of clothing imaginable. At one point, I even had my scarf wrapped around my legs to keep them warm! Somewhere near the coast of Denmark, one of the train attendants felt so sorry for me that he went and found a big wool blanket just for me. I’ve never been happier for a blanket!

Sure there were some good moments, like that night I went to sleep on a bunk six inches from the ceiling in a little cabin with four strangers (awkward!) on a train in Austria and woke up the next morning to see the beautiful Tuscan countryside whizzing by. Or the day spent crossing back into Austria via the Italian Alps, crawling through little mountain passes and snowy ravines. The view outside was simply magical.

But if that was the best train ride, the worst had to have been the ride to the airport yesterday when, thanks to a nasty virus, I unloaded all the contents of my stomach right in the middle of the train. All my romantic ideas went out the window as I was discreetly trying to dispose of a sack of vomit in the middle of a busy train.

Now whenever people mention train rides, instead of thinking of a love story I will forever think of an upchuck story.

No more trains for me, thanks!

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