Monday, January 26, 2009

Train Travel

We happily left our cars in South Carolina and came across the pond with no intentions of driving a motorized vehicle for a year. It has been wonderful. As much as I love Inge, I love train travel even more.

Train travel - even through flat countryside, in the rain, with no view - is far better than car travel any day. Unlike car travel, which requires maintenance, cleaning, map printing, and gas pumping, train travel is "get-up and go". More importantly, no driver is required and everyone can pass the time as they wish.

Now add the scenery on a train ride through the Swiss Alps, and you feel like the train ride is the purpose of your vacation. We rode the train from Geneva to Gryon on our second day in Switzerland. The view out the windows on every side was spectacular the entire journey.

Looking out the left of the train, we saw the landscape was dotted with small cottages, old churches and farm buildings built up the side of the Alps. In between the land was covered with vineyards. Every once and a while you pass through another small town built on the Swiss Riviera on Lake Geneva - picture perfect buildings in lakeside resorts. The buildings became scarcer the higher up in the Alps we looked until it was nothing but a snow-covered peak with a Chalet on the top of a mountain.

When you get bored of the Swiss Alps, you can simply look right at Lake Geneva and the French Alps. The clear, blue water of the lake sparkled right up to the mountains with little towns dotted along the shores.
After we changed trains in Bex to go up the mountain to Gryon, the landscape slowly became covered in snow. The towns along the way were the ski villages that could be featured on any alpine post card to draw in skiers and tourists. Imagine small cottages with snow covered roofs and smoke flowing out of the chimneys.

We arrived in Gryon only to be presented with more snow covered beauty....

1 comment:

Beverly said...

Saw you on SITS. I think your living abroad is amazing. Lovely pics.