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Day 2: Saturday, October 29, 2022 ALL ABOARD!!

As Rob and I were discussing this trip, we were thinking about driving and the subsequent parking of our car. The trip starts and ends in Baltimore. “Let’s take the train. We don’t have to spend time in the car, we can avoid the legendary traffic in D.C., and eliminate parking fees.”

When we booked the Amtrak train tickets, they quoted a price that started from our home with a bus ride at 8am to the Norfolk train station. We arrived in Baltimore mid afternoon. Roundtrip: $92 each. What a bargain!!

Often a train does not travel through the prettiest parts of town but the color that God paints in the fall brings beauty to every place.
We went to the B&O Railroad Museum. Here is the roundhouse which shows the progression of train travel through the years.

Charles Carroll of Carrollton was not only a founding father of the United States, but a founding father of the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad. Carroll, an Irish American, Catholic politician and planter, was the last living signatory of the Declaration of Independence, dying at the age of 95. At the time of the American Revolution, he was considered the wealthiest man in the country. Carroll was a significant investor in the establishment of America’s first public railroad, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

In the 1940s, the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway had mammoth steamers with the name “Allegheny” capable of reaching speeds of 70 mph. During World War II, these locomotives also hauled soldiers and military supplies.

I wonder if my father rode on THIS train. I am sure that it was one like it.
Here is a explanation of the different sizes of model trains. Rob’s grandfather had an impressive model train in the basement that he remembers playing with when he was young.

We walk to the famous Inner Harbor in downtown Baltimore. The Baltimore World Trade Center is the tallest pentagonal building in the world.

In the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, Historic Ships are displayed. We boarded decommissioned submarine USS Torsk (which is the name of a Scandinavian cod). They used to name submarines after fish. Maybe sports teams should do the same. No controversy!
Disney was asked by the crew to come up with a logo. It was painted on the top. E was an excellent rating and it was the 423rd submarine.
This submarine fitted with torpedos delivered the last two sinkings of Japanese ships in World War II. One has to descend the stairs facing them.
This is a coffin berth. It has a drawer to store your personal items underneath the mattress.
This is a pipe berth. The bunks are suspended with chains.  I don’t think that I could live in an enclosed space with diesel smells, etc.
Sailors have to work in the dark so others can sleep. Their eyes adjust in this red light.
This was the trash/garbage disposal. When it was released into the water, it had to be weighted so that it would not give away their position to the enemy. I wonder how much trash is weighted to the bottom. Out of sight, out of mind.

We went to the famous National Aquarium in Baltimore. We attended a 4D movie about the Octopus. We donned the 3D glasses and found a seat in the theater. The fourth dimension included air, bubbles, mist spray, rumbling seats and timely pokes in the back. It was so good that we decided to watch the next one on Sharks!!

Leidy’s Comb Jellyfish have spread throughout the world due to the release of ballast water. These jellies eat plankton and fish eggs. These non natives outcompete the native species in the Black Sea where they have ruined the fisheries of sardines and anchovies. Climate change favors them as they like warmer temperatures and have a low requirement for oxygen. Fish die but jellies don’t. It is estimated that they now make up 95 percent of the biomass in the Black Sea.

I once read a cool young adult book (my reading preference due to content, plot speed, and ease of reading) called Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz. One of the “characters” was a giant jellyfish. That one gave me the creeps.

We decided to eat at an Ethiopian restaurant. I got a platter with lots of vegetables. They don’t use utensils. I was picking up the food with injera, a sour flatbread with bubbles. It is fermented but the teff flour does not have gluten so it is like a pancake.


The bread is served in rolls that one breaks off. At the end of the meal, one eats the injera “tablecloth”.

An Ethiopian schooled us on the proper techniques. He also told us that it is an Ethiopian custom to feed each other. There is no word for it in English but it is called Gursha. Read more about Ethiopian customs here: Ethiopian Customs

On our walk back to our hotel, we passed by two policemen who told us to “be careful out here” … so we quickened our pace and arrived safely back to our hotel.

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