Oh, how I wish more Americans could experience travel by train. It is a wonderful way to see the country side. Beautiful scenes of everyday China life passing by our window.
Some things I see:
An old man sits on a small rock ledge with his three fishing poles propped up beside him. The water flows and swirls all around.
Raised burial mounds and tombstones cover the side of a hill. Cows graze all around them. A lone cow munches on grass near the railroad tracks. There is no fence.
Barefooted women, with their pants rolled above their knees, stand bent over in the fields. They gently press seedlings into the soil, so that only the tip emerges over the water-covered rice field.
Ducks splash and play in the stream that flows under a small bridge built for walking only.
Wooden fences (think palisades) create walls around the brick farm houses. Stalks of dried grain lean against the structure.
Rows of plastic protect tender plants from the cold.
A man walks along a dirt path, stick in hand, with his dog following along without a leash.
An abandoned town sits too close the tracks to be hidden. Trees grow on top of the empty 6 story apartment buildings causing the roofs to sink.
We had a lot of fun on the train, too. We laughed, read together, played games, and ate dinner.
Alia wanted to sleep on the top bunk (third tier), but those two little, strappy things didn’t look so secure to me. She slept on the middle bunk going and she and I slept on the top bunks for the return trip (there were actual rails on that train.)
Torie, of course, discovered how to diconnect the flimsy saftey straps. That girl makes me nervous! 🙂
On the trip to Shenyang, we had our own little cubicle. Good thing too. About 2 hours before we arrived, the girls started getting restless. Alia and Charis climbed up and down the bunks so many times that I lost count. 🙂
Did I mention the girls were restless?
The train is always a great experience. We met some great people, saw some strange things (like the man who decided to change into more comfortable clothing right in front of us), learned to be thankful for black pantyhose (especially when a woman wearing a mini, mini-skirt climbed to the top bunk), and discovered that the top bunk sways and it is higher than it looks. 🙂
Shenyang? It was great, too. Rachel took her SAT. We hopped in and out of taxis all over the city. Stayed with friends and shopped at the restaurant supply mall, IKEA, and metro (like a Sams Club or Costco) till we were exhausted.
After our busy time in the city, it felt great to climb aboard the train and just relax and sleep all the way home.