Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rail Rambling

Ah! The train. The steam train. We had seen a tourist train idemtified in one of the travel guides and decided to run it to ground. Turns out that the one in the book was no longer on service, but that there was one that ran from Martel return to St Denis. And guess what? WE WENT ON IT! Along with a most cheery group of elderly French citizens.

Turns out that Ken and Nada are huge train freaks like me and we heard of some of their train trips. They have been on the Trans Siberian Railway, for example. How good would that be?

This journey was only short, but very scenic, running along under the brow of a ridge, stopping at two ancient stations, before dropping down to St Denis at the end. Back up the slight hill, it stopped at the second station, where the same girl who sold the tickets jumped out and sold souvenirs from the little station house. Back on board the 'guide' continued his obviously riotous commentary (given the reactions of the ancient passengers from the tour group) as the train whistled and tooted, chugging along as only your steam train can.

There is something marvellous about steam trains. The people who restore them, the people who run them and the people who write about them. Both on the day we enquired about it and the day we hopped on it there was a chap who had written a book about the train and the line. A very beamy and chuckly chap. He was selling his book (all in very good French) and was signing each copy he sold. He maintained his jovial attitude even after I explained that it was no good to me because of the language barrier. The ancients were buying copies hand over fist, however and he seemed to be making quite a killing.

We all hopped on board Ken and Nada's Renault Clio and rambled off to our next adventure - rolls fo lunch at some grouse village or other down the road. Hoo rooster for now. Gotta keep Ramblin', cos we're Ramblin' types of guys!

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