Centraal Station is a beautiful, domed, glass and metal structured building. It’s awe-inspiring. It puts you into another perspective that perhaps you might just be abroad. Not to say that Piccadilly Station in Manchester is bad, nor Lime street Station in Liverpool. No, they are beautiful but this feels like a different space. I’m feeling small in a vast place. When my train glides through the open space towards me, it slows down to a stop, and the hoards of people start to come out.
I love train travel. I love the idea that large numbers of people can board onto one long vehicle that will take you from one place to another, all together. It’s a beautiful thing. Especially when trains have an upstairs!
I’ve had some memorable train rides before. The ones in China where, before the high-speed trains came about, journeys
would take over a day or more. One such journey had a gorgeous kitsch food carriage and me and my friend had ordered a
30 Yuan meal consisting of steamed fish, vegetables, rice and soup. I can’t tell you how happy I was to eat such amazing food on a train and the cost of it was mind-boggling. At that time 30 Yuan would have been about £1.50. Having also read Paul Theroux’s books on his train rides in the world (some are controversial) the thought of leaving and thus arriving at an unknown destination has become even more tantalising. I feel awake.
I’ve brought a book with me. I have coffee, a sandwich. Time to sit back, glance out the window and watch the World ( Holland ) go by.