Train Trips & Happiness

Posted By on Mar 3, 2014 | 1 comment


If you were following our #ChooChoo yesterday on Instagram or Twitter, you’ll know that the most amazing adventure was had! I had heard about this day train trip to Cullinan back in January, and since then I had been thinking and planning and deciding when it would take place and who I would invite. I settled on 2 March and everything else fell into place…

A small bunch of friends were invited and we each bought our train ticket through Computicket. I arranged with the train company that we all sit together considering we ended up being quite a large group (10 people in total) and we all met up at in Pretoria by 7:30am. Thank goodness there was a coffee station setup where we could buy some hot drinks as the rainy weather and lack of sleep after the Eminem concert required a large, strong cup of coffee.

The steam train was supposed to depart around 8am but due to some unforeseen issues, we eventually departed around 9:30am. The delay wasn’t a problem in the least as we busied ourselves taking photos, chatting and generally catching up with each other.

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The time came for us to board and we found our seats in the second carriage easily. We bunched together in one row chatting, sharing snacks, and generally just having a fabulous time together. The trip to Cullinan was estimated at taking 2.5-3 hours and after a few other delays due to using Metrorail tracks, stopping at a station for a fresh air break, and other stops along the way, we arrived in Cullinan just after midday.

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We headed directly to Harrie’s Pancakes as I had made a lunch reservation for noon and we were already late because of all the delays, plus we were terribly hungry! I am so glad I made  a reservation as there was a queue of people by the time we were seated.

After lunch we took a stroll through Cullinan which was just what we needed after gorging ourselves on savoury and sweet pancakes. We headed down the road and browsed through a few of the shops. From what it looked like, each shop used to be an old house as there were many little rooms in each one. The one shop that really piqued my interest was called Rust in White. It was basically somewhere you could find all sorts of “junk” that had been repurposed or that you could give a new breath of life to. There were spades painted pink, chandeliers made out of steel mugs, chairs and tables made out of old dog baths, wooden crates filled with glass bottles, a selection of old sewing machines in black, pink and cream… I could have spent an age there looking at everything. I also looked around a wedding venue with the most eclectic decor – steel bowls and cups built into the walls, a bath as a fountain. I wish I had taken photos but my eyes were just trying to take it all in!

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We then started heading back towards the train as we were set to depart at 3:30pm. On the way we stopped past the Cullinan hole. It was quite an anticlimax as I expected to have the viewing point a lot closer to the hole than where it has been setup. So we didn’t get to see the hole as much as we would have wanted and had to resort to looking at the signboard nearby to see how big it actually was.

The trip home was a lot quicker than our journey to Cullinan, not only because there were fewer delays and most of us napped, but also because the excitement and expectation had waned which is always the case. We got back to the station around 6pm and I took the time to explore some of the old carriages. It was awesome to be able to stand in a carriage that was filled with dust after being retired.

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I was also really pleased that we left just as a beautiful sunset came over some of the old carriages. It was the perfect ending to an amazing day out with some good friends.

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If you are wanting to have a memorable experience on a train, I would seriously suggest you get in touch with Friends of the Rail. You can buy your ticket from them directly or through Computicket.

This was one of the things on my list to do this year. See what else I’ve got up to or what I plan to get up to over here!

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