Someone else has something more to check in! A brand new Ferrari is carefully loaded into the vehicle carriage. Yes, you travel in more style than business class, it costs a bit less but, at an additional charge, you take your car with you and avoid having to rent a car at your destination.
Train Manager Sydney welcomes everyone and does a very useful introduction to the Premier Classe Train, what to expect, how various facilities work and even tells of a lounge car with bar especially for smokers. We are invited to sparkling wine & snacks once on board.
We board the train and find our very neat, comfortable compartments. The entire train is air-conditioned as well. It also is very secure as it remains locked while there are a number of neatly dressed security officers on board.
Handy closets provide convenient stowage space whilst there are towels, gowns, slippers, body wash and conditioning shampoo.
Prepared for every circumstance. There are also nice, hot showers in every carriage in addition to one of these at either end of a carriage.
220V electricity on tap to charge the geek's gadgets!
We next go to the Lounge Car (non-smoking in this one) for welcoming, something to drink and snacks.
We are attended to helpful, professional staff and we settle in. Soon, there is friendly chatter as people thaw when sampling nuts, crisps and biltong while sipping at some bubbly or fresh fruit juice. Boland landscapes pass by as we progress towards Worcester.
British Fort from South African War 1899-1902, at Wellington
Powering the economy of tomorrow with abundant wind at Gouda. The town is not named after Gouda in Holland but is derived from a Khoekhoe (khoikhoi) word meaning "antelope." In the foreground, a canal serving the Berg River - Voëlvlei Dam water scheme providing potable water to the Swartland and parts of Cape Town.
The Premier Classe hugs the old road passing through Nieuwekloof.
Soon, we enter the Breede River valley en route to Worcester. A few amateur photos (we still need to acquire skills!)
Worcester and Hex River Valley is where lunch happens. Tables are laid neatly and tastefully.
I so enjoyed the main course and conversation that I never took a picture of the lovely carpet bagger main course.
High Tea comes with tea/coffee and a choice of cake
Slowly entering Beaufort West
This brute replaces two others for different amperage on power lines.
Pantograph tames high voltage to motivate our train
Beaufort West Station Building
Golden sunset over Nuweveld Mountains upon our departure
Creamy Vegetable Soup
Hake fried to perfection
Succulent, most tender Karroo lamb with vegetables.
Expert waiters dish it up using just one hand, scooping the food between two spoons!
On a moving train!
After so much food, dessert is Chocolate Mousse with Cream
Still peckish? Cheese & Biscuits with Green Fig Preserve
Fifth course - tea or coffee!
We travel through the night and I awake early to a Makwassie sunrise.
For a hundred miles, we get stalked by this big guy
Typical Highveld scenery. A farm with a windmill.
Trainspotting by a local.
Golden grass, gold mines to follow!
Headgear at gold mine shaft
All too soon, we disembark to catch our next train, which is....
Paying our respects to a bygone era
Thank you for a superlative journey in relative opulence.
It is called.....
Premier Classe Makes Business Sense
Find out why (click)
More photos (click)