Sunday, July 27, 2008

Trans-Alpine Train Journey

It was an early start for us on Saturday as we woke at the ungodly hour of 7am, had a quick shower and bite to eat before a knock at the door summoned us out into the cold, damp darkness as we jumped into a taxi with Keith and Jenny and set off for the station.

As we picked up our tickets for the journey, found our seats and waited for the train to set off, the sun came out and showcased a fresh layering of snow in the distant hills.

The TranzAlpine train journey sets off from Christchurch and winds it way slowly to Greymouth, from one coast of the south island to the other. The trip is over 200 kilometres long and takes around five hours.

From our carriage the Canterbury Plains unfolded before us and disappeared behind us as we approached the Southern Alps resplendant in snow capped peaks.

Over viaducts hundreds of feet above the Waimakariri River and through 16 tunnels we climbed into the Alps through gorges and river valleys stopping along the way for photo opportunities and to pick up and drop off the occasional passenger.

We eventually descended through the rain forest to the West Coast town of Greymouth where we had just enough time to have lunch with Keith and Jenny before saying our goodbyes and making the return trip which was slightly magical as the sun faded and the impressive mountains dominated the skyline giving a certain splendour to the already imposing features of fading light on snow.

All photos here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks amazing- I'd love to do something like that one day! I'll have to come and visit!

5:35 pm  

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