Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Blue Train

Nearly 30 years ago Gus worked on his first cross-border transaction. The financing involved a German lease and a South African sublease of a BMW plant in Johannesburg. The arranger in Johannesburg, who worked on the deal, spent more conversation on what he called the “greatest train ride in the world” than he spent talking about the financing. Ever since Gus wanted to someday ride the Blue Train. 

Blue Train at Pretoria Station
Staff of Butlers
We boarded the Blue Train at 9:00 am and our butler ushered us to our suite and helped us settle ourselves.
Hallway of Our Car
Our Suite
Once we were settled we explored the common cars:
Observation Car
Lounge Car
Soon we joined Curt and Lynn for the first seating of lunch.
Dining Car

Joan's Lunch

Gus' Lunch
The Blue Train experience was everything we expected plus a bit more. The suites were comfortable plus each twin bed was covered by a goose-down duvet; all windows on the train were picture windows plus they had recently been cleaned; the food was very good plus the service was even better; the cocktails were generous plus the wine list was superb. We could easily have mistakenly believed that we were on the “Orient Express” with Hercule Poirot.
All-Dressed-Up Dinner
After a restful night and a slow paced following morning, we arrived in Cape Town midday. Curt and Lynn were off to the airport for their return home. Gus and Joan returned to the Mount Nelson.
Thanks to Bunker Snyder for recommending the Blue Train 30 years ago.

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