I tried, repeatedly, to get some photos I took loaded up to wordpress, and it seems, from what I can see of my pages, that three of the five have, eventually, made it to where people can see them, with no commentary or anything. So, *sigh*
First of all, we arrived in good time at the train station in Sderot, where the station manager and was still stressed, but I’m going with it’s a new station and everything is stressful. We made it on the train in good time, and the photo of the ramp and looking across the car are from that first train. The car was also used by quite a number of people with bicycles and one man with a bike and a dog. Happy to see the car isn’t single use. However one young man went into the bathroom with his bike and didn’t come out, so I can’t say what the facilities were like there. Also extremely frustrating as I could have used them then.
I can’t say I enjoyed the ride, although I did glance out the window to enjoy the scenery now and then. I was trying to get any one of my electronic devices to work with the wi-fi on the train. In the end the connection was so extremely slow that I just gave up. I literally couldn’t log in to a couple of applications because the response time was bad enough the log-in session timed out. Also, with the iPad being broken and having to keep the keyboard balanced on my lap to use it, coupled with the motion of the train, it was simply beyond me. *sigh*
It was a relatively short ride to Tel Aviv, a little over an hour, and by the time I gave up on connecting or getting anything done we were almost there. We were met at the Tel-Aviv-HaShalom station with a handy access ramp handled easily and with obvious ease of familiarity by a couple of railway workers. T(he) H(usband) and I, along with our youngest son and middle daughter Havva went up into Azrieli Center to grab a hot lunch, and got back to the train with plenty of time but not time to use the bathrooms there.
On a new train, with the handicapped seating in a different configuration. Not a whole car, but a small section of one car devoted to one (1) wheelchair rider and two (2) bicycles according to the signage. TH sat in a seat for regular people, my son and daughter sat with me in the w/c area. There was a young man asleep in the wheelchair nook and we had to ask him to move so that I could sit in there – much more comfortable than blocking the aisle, I have to say. My son read aloud to me from The Great Book of Amber (The Guns of Avalon), while I knitted up some linen yarn I’d just gotten and Havva worked an embroidery.
The almost-two-hours flew by. I did get to use the w/c (in this context, ‘water closet’) on this train. The door had a button that was supposed to open in automatically, but it didn’t work. Inside, there was barely room enough to fit me between the grab rail and the sink – if I’d needed someone to transfer me from the wheelchair, there simply wouldn’t have been room. Other than that, the facilities were quite adequate. Not as clean as one might like, but I blame that on the fellow who was in there before me. Not much the railways can do about that.
I needed to call for help to get out of the water closet, which was a bit frustrating, I really couldn’t open the door from the inside. There isn’t much more to tell. The view out the window was nice, and once we could see the sea (the Mediterranean) it was lovely.
w/c (that’s be ‘wheelchair’) mom