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« Curiosities | Main | Serbia »

May 24, 2015

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lytha

I think it's adorable when grown German men play with toy trains. I imagine they don't call them toys, these are elaborate miniature replicas complete with landscape and stations. On Christmas J's family brought out theirs, a set from the 70s. It was interesting to me to lock the tracks together and the way the train cars connect to the rails. Then how they power the thing; I was afraid to touch it when charged. Because of the detail on the set, I won't call them toys either: )

I just watched a documentary about steam locomotives in Germany, the ones just used for tourism. I liked the two-man crew who fed the stove coal - one man's job is to simply shut and open the door as the other man turns for another shovelful of coal. I wonder how often they lose their rhythm and the coal hits the door?

Then the show changed to a story about elderly brothers hooking up their miniature train set, and how they took a tour of southern Switzerland on a tourist train. It was gorgeous, but honestly looked just like Montana. One of the brothers said, "I've never been to America, but I can't imagine it has anything prettier than this." Ahem.

white horse pilgrim

Most of the group were German, and they took their hobby really seriously. They knew intimate details of all sorts of trains and had travelled all around the world looking at them. After a while the tour became a little claustrophobic. I didn't remind them that many of these war service locomotives (the so-called Kriegslokomitives) were built by forced labour including concentration camp victims.

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