too long….

I have made an important discovery. Just like everything you do here takes longer than it should (grocery shopping, going to the poste)… tours taken here last longer than they should.

Today we went on the Chemin de Fer de la Mure. It’s a little train that goes along an old coal mining route over some extremely high aqueducts, alongside a beautiful lake (the one we took a boat tour of two weeks ago) and through several tunnels.. including one that lasts for about a kilometer and they turn out the lights inside the train so you can’t see a thing. That’s the “mystery tunnel.” Oooh.

This voyage takes an hour and a half. Most of it is very pretty, but the final 20 minutes or so approaching the station at the end of the line is forgettable scenery of old train cars left along old rails and people with their laundry hanging out to dry.

The train station itself offers little more than bathrooms (I opted for the port-a-potty when faced with the ladies’ room which consisted of porcelain holes in the ground), a cafe and a place to buy ice cream. The stop is for an hour which is just enough time to think you can sit and eat leisurely but not quite enough time to actually do so. We sat to eat and the waitress asked us if we were on the 14:45 train. So she knew our schedule. It was the same schedule as everyone else sitting there.

We finished in what seemed to be plenty of time, but by the time we wandered over to the entrance to the platform, there was already a line. And by the time we got onto the platform, the two open-air cars were full. Given that we ended up in a car in which only about a third of the windows went down… it was annoying to have missed the chance to sit in comfort. I got so hot and stuffy on the ride back I thought I would pass out. You can’t move between cars, so there was little relief.

So the hour and a half ride would have been just fine. Add on the hour sitting at the cafe and that wasn’t horrible. But the hour and a half ride back was just about 90 minutes too long.

One Response to “too long….”

  1. D.A.D. says:

    Restaurants in railroad stations are frequently sought out by locals knowing of their renowned cuisine. That’s probably why the waitress felt obliged to ask if you were on a train or not.

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