Saturday, January 23, 2010

Friday Five - Trains and boats and planes...

Songbird was off on an adventure in the Big City, and left us with a traveller's Friday Five....

1) What was the mode of transit for your last trip?

Yesterday boasted a lovely drive through Wales, so beautiful even (or perhaps specially) in the rain, as the greens and browns ran into each other, with the occasional patch of white where last week's snow lingered on the hilltops. I'm so comfortable driving my Citroen C3 - and very conscious of this after the two weeks of borrowed wheels last year. Journeys in Clouseau are a pleasure, specially with my darling Hattie Gandhi for company - and Hay-on-Wye as a destination.

2) Have you ever traveled by train?
When I was growing up in sleepy Sussex the train was the standard mode of transport for anyone going out of town...The train to London, - and the pleasure of coming home laden with bags after a successful shopping session; as a 6th former  the daily train to school half an hour along the coast...As a single student travelling with cat and instruments, and then as a mum who always travelled with her children trains faded into the background for a few decades but I live within sound of the railway line again, and the train means trips to London, and the adventures of the city.

3) Do you live in a place with public transit, and if so, do you use it?
There is a bus stop immediately outside my door, but I don't tend to use busses...If I'm going in to town, it will be a quick dash for something essential, and waiting for the bus turns turns a half hour round trip into something more substantial.If I have time for the bus, then I prefer to walk. Trains, though, are another matter (see above)

4) What's the most unusual vehicle in which you've ever traveled?
Ummm...Not so much the vehicle, but the context. Bus rides in India are unlike anything I have experienced elsewhere. I never learned to take for granted the ride in from Channapatna to Bangalore, with every available corner crammed with colourful chattering humanity - and of course another contingent of intrepid travellers on the roof...but the journey I remember above all was in a more conventional coach (albeit one whose air conditioning was legendary rather than operative), the several hundred miles from Bangalore to Kanyakumari. I've blogged it before, so will just say that a 24 hour journey with a driver whose main technique was to "honk and hope", over roads that enjoyed playing hide and seek with incautious travellers, and a collective of Indian clergy who were inseparable from mobiles that rang with hymn tunes day and night was utterly unforgettable.
You see, it's really not the vehicle...

5) What's the next trip you're planning to take?
After a difficult year, with some major repairs and more time out of the water than in it, I'm really looking forward to several cruises on the narrowboat Polyphony once spring arrives. I have a post Easter break marked in the diary already and will enjoy reverting to life at 4 mph.

1 comment:

Songbird said...

I love being reminded of your time in India. Thanks for these pictures from your life!