I use that expression all the time, and I believe in it wholeheartedly. The journey though life is the destination, and noticing it and being present is a recipe for greater happiness. That said, Josh has booked us on a doozy of a journey today that will take us on a train from Oslo to Myrdal (which we are on right now and which will last 4 hours, 42 minutes), followed by a trip on the Flam Railway (1:27pm), connecting to a fjord boat trip to Gudvangen (3:10pm), followed by a local bus to Voss (5:45pm), and finally a train again to Bergen (7:20pm, arriving at 8:34pm). For those that are counting, that will make for over 12 hours of traveling, with some supposedly spectacular views, although it is raining and the part we are on right now is not very interesting visually. And some sadist at the booking office put our reserved seats in the “family” car of this train, where we are surrounded by screaming children and diapers. On the bright side, I have headphones and internet.
I thought I should take this opportunity to blog from the comfortable seat of our first class SJ X2000 train as we speed along at 200km/hr on our way to Stockholm. Overall the train is very nice, and I have to admit to being thrilled to have Wi-Fi, as this is the first train I have been on that has it. The entire trip is only about 3 hours (vs the slow train to Oslo which will take us 6 hours alas), and we should be arriving soon.
I’m a lucky bastard. I have the good fortune to meet wonderful people from all over the world. People who invite me to visit, for a meal, to go on outings, or who share their culture with me in a variety of ways. Today I was invited by two such people I met recently, Philippe and Roberto, to come spend the day with them in their little island home away from BA, in a place called El Tigre. El Tigre is the name of the delta region north of Buenos Aires. It is also the name of a small town that is sort of the gateway to the islands of the delta. The delta region is a fascinating and vast place, with a huge number of islands, some simple, some fancy, some wild and some quite developed. The weather was perfect, and we had a lazy day of eating and drinking and walking the island their house is situated on (called Santa Monica), followed by a fantastic boat trip offered by one of their neighbors to tour some of the delta. One could spend many days and not see all of it. In some ways it reminded me of the backwaters of Kerela; in others it reminded me of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. And yet in others it is totally unique. It is also super cheap and easy to get to from Buenos Aires. I just hopped on one of the frequent (every 20 minutes) trains at the beautiful Retiro Train Station, after buying my ticket for (I kid you not) 35 cents (US). Roughly 45 minutes later, I was in El Tigre.
Juliette and I agree that the rather expensive “Andean Explorer” train from Cusco to Puno was totally worth it. The views were spectacular, the cars beautiful and the food quite good. The only downer is that wine and some drinks cost extra, but we would totally take this train again.
This is the rather quaint name given by Perurail to the train we will be taking this morning from Cusco to Puno, leaving at 8am and arriving at 5pm. We are hopeful that the service and comfort will be better than the Perurail train we took the other day back from Machu Picchu, because to be honest, the tickets weren’t cheap.