Train blogging

I’m typing this while riding on the X 2000, SJ´s electric train, travelling quietly at up to 200 km/h (125 mph). We just had a delicious meal, including “easy beer” and surprisingly good coffee.

Thanks to the SJ site for the photos, which represent very well what we’re seeing, both outside and inside the train, except that the train is full.

Our journey to Göteborg will take less than 3 hours for the 398 km, exactly on the schedule. It’s a beautiful, modern train, with comfortable seats, good leg room, sockets for radio and music, electric power outlets, and full access to fast wifi, which makes this post possible.

SJ stands for Statens järnvägars, as explained on the SJ website:

Soon it will have been 150 years since the first train from Statens järnvägars (SJ) departed from Gothenburg central station. On arrival ecstatic passengers could testify to how they had ”been thrown forward” at 30 kilometres an hour.

Our fellow passenger across the aisle explained that this is not the best time to visit Sweden, but I have to differ. The weather is great for walking, and on this train journey, we’re seeing quaint old farmhouses, interesting little towns, spruce forests, birch tree stands, and occasionally, glorious fall foliage.

Adatepe Olive Oil Museum

Heading north from Izmir towards Çanakkale, we came to the Adatepe Olive Oil Museum, in Küçükkuyu. Again, we were the sole visitors at a very interesting site.

The museum is a restored soap factory designed to display artifacts related to olive culture. It’s the only one in Turkey devoted to the history of olive oil production. The museum extracts oil by traditional cold-press methods in its factory and stores the oil for families in the area.

We saw huge granite mills for grinding olives, various tools for pruning and olive picking, baskets for carrying olives, and earthenware jars for olive oil storage.

There are also amphoras from sunken ships of early Mediterranean trade (which never made it to the Bodrum symposium). There are displays of various tools for making olive oil soap, charts of the annual cycle of olive production, maps showing the spread of olives from Syria westward, and writings in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic sacred texts.