A Travellerspoint blog

Leaving San Francisco

sunny 16 °C

I really didn't do much today. I had to check out early this morning and so I pretty much just hung out at the hostel with my bags and reading about Seattle.

I got down to San Francisco's Amtrak office and caught the connecting bus to Emmeryville train station at 9.10pm. I had expected the train I would be taking for my final journey would be much the same as those I rode down the east coast. They couldn't have been any more different - these silver trains were the size of houses. After clambering on board and finding my American sized seat I went about exploring as most people were starting to sleep. The feature of these trains are the lounge cars. As well as having standard tables there are rows of seats that face outwards, rather than forwards and backwards. The windows of the lounge cars fill the entire side of the train and roof so that passengers can appreciate the views. There obviously wasn't much to see in the darkness. What with thousands of miles of driving and also some internal flights I had forgotten how much I enjoyed travelling by train when I was on the east coast. I don't think driving or training are more enjoyable than the other or necessarily any better than each other, they are just different. Whereas driving invariably requires a great deal of concentration, travelling by train is effortless (even when its a twenty four hour journey like this one). The different part of travelling by train is that it takes much longer (it is 800 miles from San Francisco to Seattle by train and takes twenty four hours. You'll remember I drove 800 miles in about ten to twelve hours a few weeks ago). It taking longer to travel by train, shouldn't be seen as a disadvantage necessarily because the journey is as much a part of the experience as the destination. My advice would be to find the time to do both train and drive if you're thinking of doing something like this.

Before too long I too needed some sleep so I grabbed my sleeping bag and found a pair of unoccupied seats and stretched out.


Posted by MattOGrady 17:16 Archived in USA

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