February 5th, 2013

krazy koati

Oh, it seems like ancient myth; they once ran to Hammersmith

And now some pictures from the Utrecht Railway Museum, motto ``You Will Believe'', implying a striking inability amongst Utrecht's young to take on faith the existence of trains.

P7060054.jpg This is the entrance to the museum, which was apparently formerly Utrecht's main railway station. The accommodations serve to remind us that once it might have been really great to go on trains, or even to just hang around the railway stations, but that time is gone, and you should now approach transportation as a chore and a burden to be endured. See also: every airport renovated since 1975.
P7060057.jpg In the entrance hall is a display of imitation old-fashioned baggage. Within some of the bags, though, are peep holes through which insane movies play. One --- I think the one these kids are looking at --- shows a machine shop, probably for a 19th century railroad. From the steam comes out a little devil, who rubs her hands and her tail, and sets fire to various things. Then from the steam emerges a baby's face, on a cloud, which rains just enough to set the fires out and drive the devil away. What could this possibly mean? What is it for? Why is it part of a Railway Museum? These are all questions I cannot answer.
P7060068.jpg I have a wide yet shallow appreciation of history. When I saw this sign I thought: wow, something worth putting up a plaque was going on here just as the Berlin Airlift was starting. This meager thought of how history was just happening, all together and without the shape and narrative later generations would appreciate, was dumb: the Blockade of Berlin didn't begin for a month after this, and the Airlift not until the 26th of June.
P7060080.jpg Among the many trains on display are the former Royal Cars, so anyone could just peek in and see how Queen Juliana moved about the land. While this may look like the greatest in Swinging Early 60s luxury, the sign by the phone notes that it worked only when the train was stopped and special cables could be hooked up to the phone lines.
P7060081.jpg But the accommodations indicate that when the Royal Family of the Netherlands did travel, they were apparently staying in my grandmom's house.
P7060095.jpg It's just a signal display, certainly, but I like the snappy sound of ``Niet Instappen''. I now have no desire to Instappen, so please warn me if I do by accident.

Trivia: As Neil Armstrong and Dave Scott were flown back from Okinawa to Hawaii, following their emergency splashdown ending Gemini VIII, the C-141 transport jet they were on lost oil pressure in its number two engine, about 800 miles west of Hawaii. Source: First Man: The Life Of Neil A Armstrong, James R Hansen.

Currently Reading: Gemini: Steps To The Moon, David J Shayler. Wait, Gemini VII carried a hand-held laser for ground communications? (Yeah, the flight mission reports support this. Weirdly, they weren't able to aim a hand-held laser from 1965 at White Sands steadily enough for the ground to detect, maybe because duh?)