26 July 2013

Riding the rails

Pune (pronounced Poona) is not a place that most westerners add to their itinerary during their first visit to India, however for those involved in a WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) organization, it is a place not to be missed, as it's the home of one of the four world centers. (See my previous post about Sangam, the world center in Pune). Pune, while smaller, is becoming a retreat for the citizens of Mumbai and has a lot to offer outside of the world center.
To reach Pune, Tammy and I took a train.
We left Mumbai in the early morning. It was rainy and foggy. The Victoria Terminus train station (CST), which is a UNESCO site was shrouded in fog. Humidity further clouded the lens of my camera, giving the photos an erethal feel.

The train offered several classes of service, we chose air conditioned chair class - the nicest available. I love train travel and despite the train appearing a bit run down and having as Tammy phrases it, a squatty potty, I really enjoyed the journey.

Our travels took us through the Indian countryside. We saw hills, green fields, waterfalls and more. It was a beautiful 3.5 hour journey. India's landscape is ever changing and quite diverse. I was often surprised by the beauty. This being monsoon season, the waterfalls were large, fast flowing and plentiful. It was a stark contrast to the metropolis of Mumbai we had left behind.

The train was never still. Obviously it was traveling on the tracks, but I mean it was never devoid of activity. Men came by regularly to sell everything from hot Chai to omelets to children's toys. They sounded musical and there was a rhythm to their spiel as they described for the carriage what they had to offer. I could only imagine what they might be saying, it seemed as though they had good sales pitches, as plenty of people bought their wares. I bought a cup of the steaming, hot, sweet Chai. It was delicious. Sadly the journey quickly came to a close and I was thrust back into the chaos that permeates Indian cities.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Mumbai to Pune

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