Our writers group topic for this month is "Vacation," and this started me thinking of my happiest vacations, spent in Holland as a child.
I grew up in Worcestershire, a county in the middle of England and our journeys to Holland began by train. It was just Mum, my brother Rob and I who left from Birmingham, Snow Hill Station.,where we would wave goodbye to Dad who had come to see us off. Our first destination was Paddington Station in London. Inside the train we maneuvered our luggage down the passageway that ran alongside the carriage's compartments until we found ourselves seats inside one of them.
Like a living creature, the steam engine would chuff its way out of the station, whistle blowing, then panting and puffing as it started off, slowly gaining speed as we passed through dark, soot encrusted tunnels on our way out of the station and then past the streets of Birmingham and out into the countryside.
The train would fall into a soothing rhythm rocking us gently as we left Birmingham behind us, beginning the exciting journey to London that would take several hours-- I think it may have been four back then--and pass through miles of countryside and many villages along the way.
I found this video on You Tube, of the entire journey in reverse, if you have 5 minutes to watch it! Although it is not on a steam train, the diesel train does pass several along the way--at 960 miles an hour. :)
That's all I have time for tonight. I'll be back with more about the journey tomorrow!