Tuesday, June 2, 2009

ABC Wednesday--T is for...

T is for Travel
By now you may have an idea that I like travel. Let me think how many different ways I have traveled over the years. Let's see, there are the many roadtrips. There is nothing like a roadtrip and I am ready for one almost any day. Ive taken to the road in a variety of cars and vans over the years.

As a student in Italy a lot of years ago I traveled by THUMB. Yes, this grandma is a former hitch-hiker. Hitch-hiking was a lot safer in the years of my youth, and we were only allowed by our university rules to go in pairs. But, of course, a girl couldn't go with a guy, so we were often threesomes. The guys were willing to go along with that because it was easier for girls to get rides--especially if the guys waited off the road. There were a couple of touchy incidents--one where we had not followed those rules, and another when we acquired a "godfather" who arranged a nine day ride for us through Sicily.
My first memorable TRAIN ride took place when I was eleven. My mother and I , leaving Dad to mind the store (quite literally--whole family vacations ended in the early days as storekeepers.) left Union Station in Los Angeles and took the train to Williams Arizona. There we transferred to the line that connects to the Grand Canyon. That train would travel by night, arriving at the Canyon to see the sun rise.
Except, there was something wrong with the train. We sat in Williams--or possibly somewhere int he middle of the desert--for four hours in the middle of the night while a lot of hammering went on under the train. We missed the sunrise.
I have traveled on trains pulled by locomotives that looked like this one which is part of the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad in Elbe. It was in Spain--again as a student. My companion and I had Eurail Passes (do they still have those?) We made some strange connections--riding third class at one point. A curious Guardia Civil (Franco's internal security) asked us where we were going next and when we showed him on the timetable the third class connection that would save us hours, he could only say: "MAL TREN!"
The biggest train adventure was 5000 miles on the Trans-Siberian Express, eleven years ago. I've shared bits of that here before--including the last two weeks of ABCs.
So, T is for TRAVEL, THUMBS, TRAINS, and THREE-WHEELED TAXIs called auto rickshaws. But that's another story, too.

Other ABC Wednesday postings can be found linked at the ABC site.


PERBS said...

You certaily have some wonderful memories of your experiences! I am envious!

Jay - agent112778 said...

me love trains and travels too. but more generally i love transportations like bus, trains, ships and airplanes

my entry is here

Great day Wednesday folks :)

Thanx for the Visit :)

Carol said...

Oh, such an interesting post...I love travel also...yes, they still have Eurail passes...you have had some fun travels...

Martha Z said...

We love train travel but we are not as adventurous as you. Our son Eric, however took off around the world after college, don't know who he takes after.

Janie said...

I was never brave enough to hitchhike, although it was much more common when I was young.
A train trip across Siberia must have been a fantastic way to see the country.

Doreen said...

wow, what an exciting time you had growing up. how wonderful to have traveled and had the experiences you have.

Liz said...

You have had such an exciting life! So many wonderful journeys.