Originally uploaded by oiseau.
As I sit trapped in our bedroom working, I am trying not to suffocate from the killer combination of 35 degrees heat and inhalation of dust created by decorators working in every single room in the flat at the same time. I spent yesterday on a call with a colleague in London who was laughing at me as I tried to lean as far out of the bedroom window as possible to escape the noise of the workers in the flat.
But! It is still better than being in Paris right now. Although... I have started to rather enjoy the train journey from Reims to Paris.
The summer landscape as we travel through the Champagne region is beautiful. Especially between Epernay and Reims there are fields of vines, wheat and large meadows with grass and poppies growing. Even the cuttings by the side of the tracks are full of wild flowers.
So in honour of train travel here are the top three train journeys from my life:
Epernay to Reims in summer (note the homeward bound direction!) I have to pinch myself a little that 'I really live here'. Wait till winter when the vines are bare and the region freezing again and I may change this view!
Mumbai to Goa, India
When I was 18 years old and travelling around India, after teaching in the north I travelled south to meet friends in Goa for Christmas. I remember sitting on the steps of the train carriage as the train made its way through the foliage of green jungle chatting with another traveller whilst the train staff came around asking what meal we wanted them to telegraph as an order to the next station. The vegetarian thali that was brought onto the train for us to eat was served on a banana leaf and we ate with our fingers.
Waterloo to Poole, UK
That's the real homeward bound trip. And its worth doing just for that second when you get out of the train at Poole and in one breath fill your lungs with salty air. I have a craving when I'm away from the sea for that salt rush.