Sydney to Melbourne-XPT Train. A Very Sad Tale.

It’s 7.00am at Central Station, Sydney. Nothing very inviting to eat around here so the cart coffee & a plastic muffin will have to do. At 7.42am the XPT train departs for Melbourne, that’s about 11 hours & 1000 kilometres away. Here’s a map. I ‘ve never done the trip before. It travels inland to Goulburn, then Albury and on to Melbourne, so it’s nowhere near the coast. I’m going to use the time to think about my blog. After considering many names, it emerged quite suddenly while I was sending some Melbourne scone info to a friend.

The trip was apt & educational. Before we’d even left Sydney I was amazed to hear murmurings from other passengers and much talk of scones, and with such anticipation too. Down to the Buffet Car I went. No, only toast and jam on offer.

9.45 am we leave Moss Vale and hear the Morning tea menu, which includes scones. Excellent. I will wait awhile & avoid the rush. Bad idea. In only 15 mins they’re all gone. It’s a bit stressful for the staff who are short handed today. I’m disappointed & get some crackers & cheese. Later I discovered that the scones are actually mixed while we’re at Central, cooked in real ovens onboard and are very popular. Obviously! Fortunately, a second shift starts at Albury & might make some more. That’s only another 5 hrs away!

12.30pm Somewhere past Yass. There’s Roast Chicken & Veges for lunch (& dinner) and nearby there’s passengers in raptures over the curry pies. They even read the package-Outback Pie Co, Queensland. Into Harden we’re running late because there are concerns about the track. The track is fairly flat & follows the highway alot of the way. I don’t mind, you get to appreciate the landscape, the distances, have a little quiet time & dream of scones.

3pm just past WaggaWagga and we still have an hour or so to Albury. I spy a Bakery at Quinty that looks inviting. (Note: Check out if driving. Yes, found Website)

There’s still much talk of food, scones & pies so I consider the more personal & social aspects of eating & sharing. It appears to be about life’s little pleasures. Memories of times, people & places we’ve enjoyed with others , by ourself or yet to come. There seems to be  a sense of joy & happiness as we await the next delightful experience. Perhaps, it’s something we all have in common, especially if it’s affordable.

4.30pm Alas, there were no scones after Albury, not even for ready money. It was Roast Chicken & Veges again, as we were getting into Melbourne about 7.30, nearly an hour late. I enjoyed the trip & hopefully, got my thoughts sorted. Having an ipod helps & I’ve been reading  ‘The Broken Shore’ by Peter Temple, a whodunnit. But would I do the Ghan from Adelaide or Alice Springs to Darwin? Dunno, we’ll see.

7.30pm The Lights of  Melbourne were very welcoming. I was looking forward to tomorrow’s excitement-The Ancient Egyptian Afternoon Tea at the Hotel Windsor.

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