I had planned this for some time. I wanted to visit Santa Fe for a day from Albuquerque. The Rio Metro train line runs from south of the city and terminates in Santa Fe Depot. The depot is about a mile from the downtown parts that I wanted to visit.
One buys a day pass for about $10 and it gives you the ride from Albuquerque to Santa Fe or other points you may wish to go to but I was only interested in the route to the terminus point at Santa Fe Depot. The train is very comfortable and it has the cutest road runner beep beep sounds when the doors close :-). The conductors and security people take face masks and distancing pretty seriously. Almost every stop arrivals are reminded that face masks must be worn over the nose and mouth.
I think the train cars are really cool looking.
Once on board, the train moves along pretty well but it does make many stops since it serves a lot of communities along the way. The same holds true for any train service. If you are interested in the destinations, you might as well drive. If you want to see the country, the pueblos and feel the mystic hum of track and rail and engine, this is the way to go.
Since Santa Fe is the last stop, it is pretty easy to know when to get off and the conductor makes sure you know you have reached the end. I walked to the old downtown part of Santa Fe where the historic buildings and shops and wonderful restaurants are. It was crowded today in all the places. In the afternoon, local people showed up selling their silver and turquoise jewelry.
Pretty cool craftsmanship! I'm not into silver jewelry so I just walked along more interested in the people. There were a number of Pueblo Indians selling. Other than jewelry, there were beautiful blankets and rugs all locally made. I was not really into those either. I was into the food (of course) so I ate twice whether I needed it or not and got red chili overload and happily so. The city is really beautiful and very touristy but it is a lot of fun to just wander the blocks and feel that warm sun beat down. I love the sun and the warmth and humidity does nothing to me really so today was good all the way around. It started with the bluest of skies.
I also found yet another t-shirt and a new hat so I dumped the old hat. I still have my Vietnam hat which will never go away but now I have a beautiful Santa Fe New Mexico t-shirt as well.
In the afternoon, I stopped for coffee and charged up my iPhone and hat a chocolate chip cookie and a latte. I just watched the tourists and locals all going by. I would say Santa Fe is a pretty popular place for just about everyone. There are really beautiful hotels and Inns to stay in and you can be right by all the restaurants and wonderful night spots and there are breweries that I have read about but never been to. In the way back machine, my ex wife and I would come to Santa Fe often and eat, camp somewhere, go to archeological sites to visit, and just wander around the deserts. I don't recall a lot of that wandering but I do remember the general feeling of differences from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. Things just seem more laid back, relaxed. Restaurant staff make sure to tell you "no hurry; take your time". You cannot get in without a mask. Any place. Stores, restaurants, pubs. It is amazing to me the difference between Texas and New Mexico with most things. I would say face masks were never meant to be political statements and 5G is not a tinfoil hat thing or aliens stealing your stuff. Enough said.
Then it was time to head back to the depot to catch the evening train I wished to go back to Albuquerque. As usual, the sky provided a wonderful view for me just leaving the depot.
The day trip ended and I got an Uber to my Airbnb. Tomorrow another trip but over a weekend. This time on Amtrak from Albuquerque to Las Vegas New Mexico for the weekend. When I get back, my last week in the US starts.
That's my report for a wonderful day trip to Santa Fe. If you have the chance, it is a really worthwhile and fun trip to do on the train. I enjoyed it immensely.