At the end of July we had a visit from Hubby's Hawaiian Mom. It went really well. While she's still pretty active, his step-father however is getting older. As a result we decided on activities that didn't require too much efforts but would still allow them to enjoy the region. The perfect option was the train excursion. For a couple who spends their life in Hawaii, driving from Asheville to Bryson City is a bit of an expedition "Aren't we going far?" "Isn't that too expensive in gas".
Une fois a Bryson City nous avons pris les billets pour l'option économique (comprendre sans clim et sans boissons sucrées a volonté) et nous nous sommes installés dans le wagon qui nous était désigné. Si le train, bien que bruyant, était une bonne occasion pour passer du temps ensemble, j'avoue que je m'attendais a un peu plus. Nous avons peut être eu cinq ou six commentaires durant un voyage de presque 4h aller retour (44 miles). Cote paysages, la plupart du temps on voyait surtout des arbres, ici et la des fermes et des rivières.
Je pense qu'ayant l'habitude de prendre le train en Europe ce petit voyage n'avait du coup rien de bien spécial pour moi.
Once in Bryson City we got tickets for the economic option (understand without AC or unlimited soft drinks refills) and settled in the car that had been assigned to us. If the train was loud, it was still a good opportunity to spend time together, however I was a little dissapointed. We got maybe five or six "guided tour" commentaries during a journey that was close to 4 hours round trio (44 miles). As far as the landscape we mostly saw trees, here and there a few farms and creeks. I think that being used to train travel in Europe didn't make this as thrilling and unusal for me.
We did get some pretty landscape when we came across Lake Fontana however.
The Train kept on going along the Nantahala River Gorge where ultimately the engine was switched sides. A few passengers left the train because they did purchased the white water on the Nantahala/train option. I have to admit it was quite tempting to be on the water. We switched seat so we would get a better view over the river (the right side on the way in is great for the lake but I would recommend seats on the left because those are the ones overlooking the river).
The train going along the Nantahala.
The train stopped at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. It allowed those who went rafting to catch up and for us to go eat something else than the chips and nachos of the train. If I have one regret it was that I followed the instructions and did not bring food as requested. Yet we saw lots of people with their coolers in the train. I think that if we do this again we would make and take our own lunch with us.
The layover in Nantahala was rather short. Just long enough to eat, then we got back on the train to Bryson City. Terminus, all passengers out. Our tickets gave us access to the small museum but the parents decided to head home instead.
It's a nice and chill excursion, a little expensive for what it is, at least for someone coming from Europe. Something good to do with family that doesn't want to get tired or with young kids that would likely be fascinated bv the train.