Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Train trip home

It's already been a week since we came home, but I still have the trip on my mind. Tuesday morning we were up early, and headed down to Pike Place Market to find some food. After a fully loaded bagel and some coffee, a quick trip to one of the market stalls to pick up some fresh fruit, we headed back to the hotel to pick up our suitcases. We had decided to walk to the train station to stretch our legs a little before the day on the train.

The first question we asked when we checked in, was whether there was a parlour car on board this time- and there was :-) So after a quick check to see where our new cabin was, we headed straight up there and it was exactly as we'd hoped.

Comfy swivel chairs that you could get a full 360 degree view, and plug in points galore. This was an ideal time to catch up on my blog for the first part of the trip was through the populated areas of Seattle. However, I was slightly stymied in that regard, when a man (who had just retired from working from a freight train company and travelling on his own...) decided to tell me his life story, and point out all the points of interest along the tracks, despite my polite hints that I was hoping to get some work done. However I did learn some interesting facts!

The parlour car was worked by an English lady named Jane who had a thick accent despite living here some 20 years, and she took to us pretty quickly. No sooner had we got going, she made Dick an Americano coffee, and we were set up!

It's amazing what you see just traveling in the opposite direction as you did on the way there! The parlour car also served meals for sleeping car passengers only- a more limited menu but a slightly better one too, so we ended up eating every meal in there. It was also fairly quiet as lots of the sleeping car passengers seem to prefer staying in their rooms. It is a very relaxing way to travel.

Mid afternoon we joined the Washington Wine tasting event they had in there too. The wines turned out to be very good and were priced extremely well for the train at only $15 a bottle- we'd paid $11 for half a bottle on the train on the way up! That meant we spent the afternoon listening to our books, and watching the beautiful scenery of the Cascades. Early evening we bought a bottle of red wine and watched the sun go down whilst chugging up the hills. Very nice.

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