Family Fun : Train Travel

In the fast paced world we live in today, slow travel is considered a waste of time and money. Indeed, flying is the order of the day wherein travelers jet from one place to another in desperate attempts to save time which they feel can be used for other purposes.

While we agree that reducing the travel time would definitely give you more time to enjoy your holiday, you need to come to terms with the fact that sometimes, it is ok to just sit back and let time pass without worrying about your holiday getting spoilt.

Given below are some of the world’s coolest train rides. We say cool not because they are modern and fast. Sometimes far less comfortable than your normal expresses, these trains take considerable amounts of time to reach their respective destinations. However no one seems to complain about the time spent on these trains. And you wouldn’t to if you find out where they take you!

Glacier Express: Hop aboard the Glacier Express which connects St. Mortiz and Zermatt, two really popular mountain resorts in the Swiss Alps. Taking over 8 hours to cover the total distance of 180 miles, the ride is touted to be the slowest express in the entire world. But who’s complaining?

With over 291 bridges and 91 tunnels to enjoy, all at a height of 6,670 feet above sea level, time is forgotten as you watch the stunning mountain scenery unfold before your eyes.

Venice Simplon Orient Express:Definitely on the more luxurious side and fit for the more elite class of people (the trip costs over 2,000 Euros), the Venice Simplon Orient Express passes through several cities of Europe over a period of three days. Some of these cities include Rome, Venice, Budapest, Prague and of course, London!

The trip is also filled with plenty of novels, movies and Hollwyood scenes; and as you pass through the countryside of Austria, Switzerland and France, you find yourself sitting back and enjoying what could possibly be the most luxurious trip in your entire life.

Pride of Africa:Always loved to travel through Africa but never had any idea of how to go about doing it? Well not to worry. For all you need to do is book a ride on the Pride of Africa.

A 14 day trip that would enable to explore the beauty and grandeur of the Dark Continent to your heart’s content, the Pride of Africa is both leisurely and luxurious (deemed to be the most luxurious train in the entire world); and is organised only once every year. Some of the areas covered in the itinerary include Cape Town, Kimberley, Dar Es Salaam, Beit Bridge, Kruger National Park, Victoria Falls, Bulawayo, Lusaka and Tanzania.

Eurostar:Now who can ever forget our very own Eurostar which traverses underwater while connecting several major cities in Europe? Certainly a much better option than catching a flight or a taxi to reach your destination, the Eurostar helps you reach your destination safely, comfortably, and leisurely. Added to these advantages is the plethora of underwater beauty that you get to witness as you make the trip.

Palace on Wheels: Just like its name points out, the ‘Palace on Wheels’ is definitely one of the most luxurious trains in the world. Starting from the capital of India, Delhi, the express passes through several cities in Northern India before stopping at Rajasthan.

Completing its nostalgic look with a fully operational steam engine, the ‘Palace on Wheels’ is the only train ride in the world where you will be pampered to the core in addition to enjoying several facilities available only to kings and queens in the olden days.

Some of these include being welcomed by an elephant in Jaipur, having lunch at the Lake Palace in Udaipur, enjoying a camel safari in Jaisalmer and exploring a privatised tour of the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Trans Siberian Railway:Clearly the ride that covers the largest distance of them all, the Trans Siberian Railway carries you over a distance of nearly 6000 miles across Russia, a distance that is considered to be one third of the surface of the earth and which takes you through seven different time zones.

Coursing through the cities of Vladivostok, Siberia, Moscow and St. Petersburg, the Trans Siberian Railway comes with its own set of luxuries which include vintage carriers fitted with double bedrooms, bathrooms, and sitting/dining rooms. Guests can also enjoy the private attention of a dedicated butler.

Royal Scotsman:And finally, we come to the grand daddy of them all when it comes to costs. Touted to be the most expensive train ride on the face of the earth (much more expensive than the Venice Simplon Orient Express), the Royal Scotsman redefines luxury, offering its guests the best of everything.

A 4 day trip on the Royal Scotsman would cost you a great deal of money. However at the end of the day, if it is the underlying quality that matters to you, then you have boarded the right train. The train has the capacity to accommodate only 36 guests at any given point of time and takes you through some very beautiful places like mountains, valleys and waterfalls etc. while stopping in the nights to let you get some shut eye.



fathima abubakr