Train from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia

5/13/22

What an incredible journey between these two iconic cities. I had never traversed this particular rail line before, but it was spectacular. (Sadly, less-than-sparkling train windows prevent me from sharing exactly how it looked—plus, you can never really capture the feeling of the scale/scope of nature—but you can get an idea from here.)

I woke up at 5:45 this morning (oof!) and made my way one last time across the Rachel Carson Bridge, and captured one more photo of the Andy Warhol Bridge, this time with the reflected morning sunlight. At the station, I went through blessedly minimal stress and rigmarole to get everything onto the baggage car, plus a bit of it with me into the coach car.

Then I settled back to relax and enjoy the six-hour journey. I did do some dozing (I’ve built up quite a sleep deficit over the past week) and also some copy editing of a friend’s book, but I also spent a good amount of time enjoying the views.

We pulled into the station in Philadelphia shortly after 3:00, and I enjoyed seeing a new-to-me station. I also noticed, for the first time, how the Viewliner trains are perfectly suited to stations with platforms like this: bikes and trailers can roll right out from the baggage car! When I had boarded in Pittsburgh (and Charlottesville, and several other stations with Viewliners) it was much more awkward, with me and/or Amtrak staff having to heft things up to the door of the baggage or coach car.

I exited the grand station doors into the city, and made my way to vegetarian Chinese restaurant Su Xing House. I enjoyed some green beans and tofu in garlic sauce, and then continued on toward my host’s apartment building.

On my way there, I stopped to rest in beautiful nearby Washington Square Park.

And whom should I stumble across there but a fellow Brompton owner! I stopped to interrupt Sophie and her friend (whose name I’ve forgotten, sorry! If you’re reading, please feel free to remind me) in their conversation, and we ended up having a Brompton/bike touring/Philadelphia tourism conversation for a while instead! The two were friendly and enthusiastic about their hometown and everything it has to offer, especially for cyclists. They recommended some vegan restaurants, too, including a nearby doughnut shop I’m sure I will visit soon.

My host, Eileen, was attending a wedding reception just a few blocks away, so she couldn’t meet me when I arrived, but she arranged for me to have access to the building and her unit. So I relaxed on the beautiful balcony for a couple of hours, until she returned.

I really do need to catch up on sleep soon. But after that, I’m excited to explore several gardens, parks, and an arboretum in the area, as well as many vegan restaurants!

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