Train Rides and Sandy Beaches

There’s something I just love about trains, particularly old trains. As a child, we used to take the train from Nairobi to Mombasa at the coast of Kenya during the school holidays. The trains were old and rickety with small cabins that could fit four people. We would congregate at the train station in the heart of downtown Nairobi in the late evening in anticipation of an all-night journey to the vibrant coast of Kenya, it’s white beaches drenched by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.

Caleb at the Exporail train museum in Saint Constant, Québec

Our big boy Caleb at the Exporail train museum in Saint Constant, Québec

As we drifted off to sleep lulled by the chaka-chaka sound of the old train, the night was pitch black and the stars crystal clear. The morning greeted us with salty, humid coastal air. We would spend most days swimming or running along the beach, our feet entangled in dark green seaweed. Each night as we slept, I loved the rhythmic sound of the waves approaching and receding from the beach.

As we headed back to Nairobi on our favorite rickety train, we eagerly looked forward to the next year when we would be back to enjoy the lure of the majestic Indian Ocean.

My latest experience of trains was through the eyes of my 4 year old son who spent the afternoon with his daddy, uncle and cousin on a ‘boy’s day out’ at the Exporail train museum located south of Montréal. The museum has plenty of large trains to explore, model train set-ups with the finest level of detail and of course, train rides!

It’s been years since I have been back to the coast of Kenya. I will forever cherish the memories of the old train-rides shuttling back and forth between Nairobi and Mombasa in my homeland Kenya.

9 thoughts on “Train Rides and Sandy Beaches

  1. Lovely memory Malaika! I love the picture you painted. I’ve only been on a train twice, and my first ride puts me close to your wonderful experience. Love Caleb’s matching colors with the train (red, black, white) lol

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  2. Also I have some dear childhood memories that involve trains. With my family I would often take the night train through Germany, at the start of summer vacations, on the way to Italy and our relatives there. Those night trains would become a symbol for adventure and leaving everything boring and school-related behind. Before vacations I would long for that moment when I would finally step onto the carriage.

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  3. I’d love to take a trip by train one of these days. I imagine the ride being mostly peaceful with ample room to ponder nature or the cities left behind. I always like to imagine how it was back in the days when this mode of transportation was new. Was it mostly for the privileged? On that speeding train, how was human interaction then in the absence of WiFi? (Tongue in cheek)

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    • Yes, I’m sure you’d love taking the train. There’s something so impressive about it! Great questions about how human interaction used to be. I imagine there may have been more communication, eye contact and smiles! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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