Friday, October 05, 2018

Adventure on The New Jerusalem High Speed Train

One great advantage of our age and being retired is the opportunity for spontaneity. There are very few strictly scheduled events to worry about. After a lovely lunch in Center 1 with friends from all over the world, my longtime buddy and I decided to take the lightrail to the center of Jerusalem. Since we had a few minutes before the trolly's arrival, she wanted to ask some questions at the nearby Navon Train Station of the new Jerusalem High Speed Train. The young man at Information informed us that "today," meaning yesterday, we didn't need advance reservations to take the new train to Ben Gurion Airport. All we needed was our trusty Rav-kav.

And so, within seconds, we were on our way. The young friendly help staff assisted us in "purchasing" our free roundtrip tickets. We're still young enough to enjoy an unplanned adventure.

We had read about the Jerusalem High Speed Train, which like when the lightrail was new, is offering free rides. I must admit that I had been nervous about the long escalator ride underground. I'm still traumatized by old wooden escalators in the London Underground at Kings Cross to the Northern Line, which I had taken forty-three years ago. I must tell you that these new Jerusalem escalators are wonderful. I felt very safe and didn't feel any ear pressure when we got deep underground to the tracks.

In keeping with the festive mood of the pre-opening of the Jerusalem High Speed Train, we were given little chocolates. It was clear that many of the passengers, including young families, were on the train as a lark, like us, but there were also quite a few who appeared to be legitimate airplane travelers. They had lots of luggage with them.

We sat in the upper part of the train and looked out of the window, but it was disappointing to discover that a large portion of the route was in tunnels. We could see at times that we were speeding much more quickly than the cars of the parallel road.

The biggest time-waster was when we got back to Jerusalem and couldn't find an up escalator. All there seemed to be were a few much-too-small elevators. They were crowded and slow in coming. I think that only one was actually working. If that's so, then Gd willing it should be easier to get up once they're all fully functioning.

For people who live in or near Jerusalem, the Jerusalem High Speed Train is great. To and from Shiloh it isn't. We're actually as close to the airport as we are to Jerusalem. That's another reason why I enjoyed yesterday's adventure. I may never have another real opportunity to take the train.

eating the free chocolate candy

The actual train ride is just over twenty minutes in each direction, and there's a train every half hour.

In just over 90 minutes we traveled to Ben Gurion Airport, walked around the arrivals area and took the train back to Jerusalem.


Neshama said...

You are brave Batya. I get queazy at heights and do NOT envision using those escalators. Unless they have elevators, which I would also be wary of, I might not ever go on the new train. I don’t like being so far below ground. Hated the ny subway, especially the Bloomies station that also had a loooong escalator. Going up only. Could not go down, I rather take the steps.

Thanks for the video.

Batya Medad said...

I didn't feel the depth. There are elevators