Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Blue Train

After our week in Cape Town, we took The Blue Train to Pretoria, from where we depart for Kruger National Park, our final safari destination. The train is an amazingly luxurious experience. It is however, not a practical way to get anywhere: the total time for the 1000-mile trip was 35 hours.

The rooms were quite comfortable, with full beds and a private bathroom with shower.

We enjoyed the train's lounge (bar) car. 

We experienced an excursion to Matjiesfontein, a village founded as a health spa in 1884.

Upon departing the Blue Train, we boarded this relic of a bus for a 10-minute 5mph tour narrated by a wildly entertaining MC named Johnny whose signature phrase was "It's Showtime!"

Matjiesfontein features a variety of buildings maintained in Victorian style, including the Lord Milner Hotel, which, though deserted during our visit, is apparently full on the weekends.

Former and current houses of the town's inhabitants.

After the bus tour, we adjourned to the town's only bar for proffered sherry that tasted so good we had to wash it down with beer.

After that experience, we recuperated in the Blue Train's lounge car.

Everything is more fun on a train.

We enjoyed many games of cards.

When not playing cards, we watched the countryside go by. 

A great trip!

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