The trains that run to and from J’lem all have the cars with the luggage nook/wheelchair seating that I found so offensive. I chose on the ride out from J’lem to sit in regular seats which was easy enough to do as we were early on the train at it’s beginning.
It was a quiet enough ride, and I’ve already blogged about it enough already but I need to add that once again the bathroom was unusable. There were three days in a row in which I spent more than an hour in need of a toilet and unable to find one I could use. One day I was actually able to make use of facilities exactly three times for a whole day. Thank goodness it is winter and I can choose not to drink for long periods of time.
The trip from J’lem to Modi’in was really quite pretty, but not much else to say about it. We arrived at Modi’in to find out that the station was quite in the middle of nowhere. A handful of residential towers at a distance, and nothing else. TH and E and I had brought some food from J’lem, and went outside, found a bench by a pretty flower bed and had a bit of a picnic. It was really extremely pleasant, and even if we saw nothing really of they city of Modi’in, we did not consider the trip a waste. It was fun.
From Modi’in we got on the next train out and, changing trains again at Tel Aviv HaHagganah (the posh, posh, traveling life, the traveling life for me…), we went south via the other southbound line to Be’er Sheva, changing trains at the university station (north) for Dimona. By the time we got to Dimona it was dark, and the station there was completely removed from the city, being at a distance of some kilometers.
One difference on this southbound line is that sitting and watching the miles go by, the land is flat. Almost completely flat and almost completely empty. When it gets dark it is actually dark (okay, always a bit of light pollution, but darker than anywhere else I’ve been in Israel), and the lights seen in the distance are a handful of lights on a road intersection, not the glare of a city.
The people at the Dimona station are very friendly, and amused by our showing up only to turn around and go back on the next train. We stroll around outside, and I took a handful of photos inside the station using my phone. My photography is nothing special, but I do think seeing things makes it more interesting and real.
We rode back up to Be’er Sheva where we again changed trains at university station. One of the fellows working there commented as I rolled across the portable ramp (I didn’t get a photo of those, more’s the pity) ‘What? They just left, what are they coming back for?’
The driver of the train explained to him it was a tiyul. ‘Oh, okay.’
And so we rolled in to the Be’er Sheva merkaz station (merkaz means ‘center/centre’) and off the train where our oldest son was meeting us to drive us home.
I should probably have noted that we live on a tiny little moshav in the middle of nowhere, with no bus service even.
And that was the end of the great train tiyul around Israel for us. But, since we had plans to go to Rosh HaAyin the next day, not the end of our travels.
Loads of photos coming later.