Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Train Trip 2013 -- Tucson to Alpine

Built in the early 1900's, even some of the smaller train stations like Tucson and Alpine have an interesting history and look to them as they were built in Spanish Revival style.

We travelled between the two cities during the day and the desert terrain is certainly much different than  we're used to seeing. El Paso was probably the most noteworthy location as the tracks run right along the border with Mexico and there is a stark contrast between the slums of Juarez on one side of the chain-link fence with wire at the top and the city of El Paso on the other side. It's extreme to say the least.

Although we didn't get a chance to go inside the train station at El Paso, it's definitely another grand old place. As we approached, I thought it was a church due to the chapel-like tower on it.

In Alpine we stayed at the historic Holland Hotel. It was built in 1928, almost fell to the wrecking ball but was repurchased and renovated in the 1970's. They did a great job of it! I love the huge wood ceiling pillars, the comfy big antique chairs and chesterfields, the iron lighting fixtures, and the old historical photos on the wall showing life and ranching in years gone by.

Historical marker on the front of the hotel. 
Lobby of Holland Hotel 
Fireplace and large antique, comfy couches and chairs
The business center just off the lobby
Outdoor courtyard at Holland Hotel
Front entrance area and large lobby of Holland Hotel
After getting ourselves and our clothes cleaned up after our hike, (the hotel has a washer/dryer for guest use!) we had a nice meal in the hotel restaurant and spent a very enjoyable evening sitting in the lobby with a glass of wine and listening to Chris Jamison, a very talented singer and guitar player from Austin.

There are several art galleries and historic buildings in Alpine as well as the Museum of Big Bend. Unfortunately with this being a holiday Monday the museum and historic buildings were mostly closed.  but we did get to some nice galleries and spent quite a while browsing a good book store.

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