I shouldn't really like steam trains. Noisy, dirty, fossil-fuelled monsters from a past age, with no place in an eco-considerate world. But I find a beauty in their precise engineering; how so many parts work together so skilfully and, using only the power of boiling water, can move a mass of many tonnes of metal and freight and passengers up a mountain.
So, when a short stay in Wernigerode in the Harz Mountains gave us the opportunity for a trip on the narrow-gauge Harzer Schmalspubahnen steam railway up to the top of the Brocken, how could I resist? I might be drummed out of Greenpeace for this traitorous action, but please allow me this guilty pleasure.
Here are a few photos from the trip. Unfortunately, none are from the top of the Brocken mountain, because the summit was shrouded in rain and mist. They say there are lovely views from the top, but there could have been a coven of sky-clad witches dancing on the flat summit and we wouldn't have seen them for the descended cloud. Still, a lovely experience, and a nice shot of schnapps on the train to keep us warm.