Rail Stories // Iconic Rail Journeys
December 1, 2017
When you think of Romania you might not think of hopping on an old steam train and riding through the idyllic countryside. But I guarantee you can and that is absolutely one of the most fun things you can do! You can find the train in the town of Moldoviţa where it runs twice a week for tourists. This is one of the best ways to get a scope of the landscape and culture of Romania. From the cows grazing up on the hill, people still riding their horse and carriages to their quaint painted houses, or seeing the lush green hills and trees, it’s worth a visit.
Catching a train in India is one of the best and cheapest ways to see its scenic countryside, sure it can be a little overwhelming but it is tourist friendly and there are always people willing to help if you have any questions. Once you leave the major cities the landscape changes completely and depending on where you are going you can find yourself meandering through mountains or have views of green lush tea plantations. I have been lucky enough to have traveled many times on Indian trains and I can personally tell you it is a great experience.
It is very affordable to book a first class ticket where you get an air coned cubicle with a bed and clean sheets. You can pre-book a meal but due to not knowing what the sanitary conditions are in the kitchen I rather gave it a miss but throughout the journey, you get people walking up and down selling cool drinks and snacks. What I love the most about trains in India is that the doors between the coaches are usually open which is probably a safety issue but if you are careful enough you get to stand, get some fresh air and admire the outside view.
The best rail journey I have been on was from Goa to Hampi; it was an 8-hour day train ride and the scenery was incredible, we went from a tropical brush to rocky hillsides that were made up of huge boulders. That is the beautiful part of India, there are so many different landscapes. Because it was a day journey people were up and I got to chat with friendly locals. They gave me some great tips on where I was going, we exchanged numbers and we are still friends today.
In July I went from Oslo to Bergen one of the must ride train rides. The entire 7-hour ride I was glued to the window. After reading about this route I was definitely not disappointed. You go through rural Norway and will go through snow-covered hills, past numerous lakes and fjords. You will stop in small towns and see small cabins where Norwegians go for summer breaks. My only regret is not catching the train back and flying instead.
It is almost axiomatic that the worst trains take you through magical places.
Which is your favorite rail journey? Also: