The coal-fired train
Travelling by train … Let me think! Do you know what it came to my mind?
Scattered pictures and memories from my summer journeys with KARVOUNIARIS! *
How many times haven’t I travelled with my mother and my sisters from Athens to Thessaloniki?! I remember the dirty waiting room of the Larissis Station and my mother validating our tickets full of anxiety! Her endless fair of losing us was eating her insides! Three little kids in the train station, it’s not easy to deal with!
We were taking the train at night, around 23.00 and we were entering the wagons of the dirty, slow, old but loved KARVOUNIARIS with the hope of arriving at Thessaloniki at 5 in the morning. Most of the times I remember grumbling, because we were forced to sit on our suitcases in the middle of the hallway because of the crowded wagons and the reserved seats. Other times, we were constrained to sit at the bar which was always full of cigarette smoke of our fellow passengers or sometimes we were also stuck on the glass door of the wagons with the smell of spinach in our noses-You see wasn’t yet fashionable enough to take planes and the trains those years were full of moms who were sending food to their “immigrant” children –
Do you know what else I remember? The Bridge of Gorgopotamos! I went to the train driver and I’ve asked him to stand by him, to see what was like driving a train. I was really happy and proud of myself!
Mmm, I don’t have other images in my mind, perhaps because the train and its endless hours of journey was for me the best place to snuggle in my books and pass quickly and pleasantly my time … This is all I have!
AAA! Let me tell you what else you could write!? Write that since they’ve replaced the old KARVOUNIARI I never travelled by train again!
* For those who do not know, Karvouniaris was the mythical coal-fired train for the line Athens / Thessaloniki.
Georgia Velliou works at the
Hellenic Ministry of Public Order
& Citizen Protection