Train Travel is GOOD
As we all prepare to endure the particular hell that is airports, railway stations and car rental garages at the start of the Thanksgiving Weekend, here's a reminder that non-Americans sometimes look at the way we travel here with nostlagia and even excitement.
Writer Anna Pickard, of Brit quality paper The Guardian , writes a delightful online column that positively glows with pleasure at spending 15 days traveling 6,500 miles on Amtrak, across America.
"Riding a train through the west provides a feeling that the other more perfunctory routes in the east do not offer", says Pickard. "You get a sense that you're cutting through a slice of American history."
She adds: "Riding in these great silver beasts, though, passing slowly across hotly contested lands and wildest wests, you gaze across the prairies and start to imagine the possibilities they hold and realise the drive of those pioneers."
There's more, here , peppered with her American friends' disbelief at her excitement, and urging a plane ticket instead. And an admission that really, it can get awfully boring. But even the train smashing into a truck and cutting it in two (no casualties) doesn't dampen her enthusiasm.
But we're not scoffing: Amtrak's gay microsite is a refreshing direction for a travel company. And maybe it takes a non-native to look for and find the beauty, the nostalgia, the excitement that we tend to ignore in the marvel of being able to go coast-to-coast. And it's an optimism we could all do with this weekend.
To suit the mood, pictured are two classic Amtrak posters. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!