Holidays and Other Excursions

Tag: Train

Falmouth to North Conway

Friday 7 October 2016

Our coach takes us back towards Boston.  On the way there we head into Plymouth (sometimes Plimouth) which was the landing point for the Pilgrim Fathers.

Our first stop is what used to be known as the “Pilgrim Monument” but is now officially the “National Monument to the Forefathers” which is a single piece of granite, possibly the largest single piece in the world, commemorating the Mayflower pilgrims.  There are other “Pilgrim” related monuments hence the renaming!

Also in Plymouth and our next stop is Plymouth Rock which allegedly markes the first landing point of the Mayflower pilgrims, although it was not mentioned until much later.  It has moved several times and has split into several pieces.  Since 1920 it has been covered by a Roman Doric portico.

Nearby is the Mayflower II an English reconstruction of the original built in 1955/6.  We were somewhat lucky to see as she had been away for some work and shortly after our visit departed again.  The intention is to ensure she is entirely sea-worthy in 2019 to mark the 400th anniversary of the original arrival of the pilgrims.

Photos of the above can be found here.

We rejoin the coach and our destination is Boston North station where we join our train to Portland.  We are aboard the Amtrak “Downeaster“.  The current service is relatively new having been re-established in 2001.  Much of the route is heavily wooded and there are no great views as we meander along.

The catering car is at the rear of the train but it is closed until we have been underway for about half an hour or so.  There were about three wraps available and I buy two of them – train catering is even poor here.  And additionally they were not particularly nice!  One of those rare times when USA food is not great!

And the train photos mainly at Boston are here.

The coach has taken our cases and meets us at the far end of the line.  We now commence heading west and uphill and we can see a real change in the surrounding colours.  Fall is here.  Within a month the country will be voting for a new President and it is demonstrably clear that Trump has a lot of support!

Our destination for the next three nights is North Conway so we have moved from Massachusetts to New Hampshire.  “New England” comprises six states – those two plus Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut and essentially runs from New York state to the Canadian border on the East Coast.

Rail to Arthur’s Pass

Thursday 24 March 2016

This is the NZ Trans Alpine train which we take from Christchurch to Arthur’s Pass.

There is an open coach in the consist – so no glass to get in the way of the cold which soon permeates through if you spend too long in there!  It is a grey day and as the hills rise it is hard going for the two locos.

Wikipedia says “The trip is considered one of the world’s great train journeys for the scenery and views.”  I hope the photographs here give some idea of the scenery – I bet it looks much better on a bright sunny day.   The rail line continues to Greymouth on the west of South Island but we are heading south from here and so join our coach for the continuing journey through South Island.