by Edgar van der Meer
5 Spectacular Train Journeys You Need to Do in Your Lifetime
They say that travel it’s not about the destination, but the journey. Now, this phrase usually refers to the emotional, cultural and spiritual journey you undertake when you travel. It takes into account the people you meet and the experiences you have along the way – these are the things that really matter. But, sometimes the journey can be taken in the most literal of senses and refer to the actual physical transportation of yourself from one place to another. A train journey, for example.
There are some journeys, scattered along the well-trodden travel routes of the world that are utterly mind-blowing. If you are ready to experience the most sublime journeys in the world, here are five to get you started.
Kandy to Ella, Sri Lanka
Often voted the single most beautiful journey in the world, the train from Ella to Kandy winds through the lush rice paddies and fields of Sri Lanka’s misty highlands. Try and get yourself a window seat so you can fully absorb the majestic emerald landscape as you race through the countryside. The journey takes around seven hours, so you’ll have plenty of time to soak up the views. The best part of the journey is that the natural beauty gets even better when you arrive at your destination.
The Sacred Valley, Peru
There is a train that runs from Ollantaytambo, which is nestled in the heart of the sacred valley, all the way to Machu Picchu. Not only is the train itself fabulously luxurious with its armchairs and observation decks, but the scenery that whizzes by outside is world class. The verdant slopes of the mountains, capped with snow, shoot out of the ground on either side of the train, offering nothing but untapped natural beauty as far as the eye can see. Plus, you’ll see a few llamas and alpacas grazing as you go.
Darwin to Adelaide, Australia
The Ghan is the name of the train that covers the 2,000 or so miles between Adelaide and Darwin. It races through Australia’s fiery and inhospitable outback, offering its passengers views of this extreme landscape as it goes. This journey is perfect for those who want to experience the Bush but aren’t so keen on the sunstroke that comes with it. If you have the time, stop off in Alice Springs and at the Nitmiluk Gorge on your way.
The Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia
What sort of list would this be if it didn’t include one of the world’s longest train routes – the Trans-Siberian Railway. This eight day monster journey will take you from Moscow, through the untouched Russian countryside, all the way to the dense forests of Siberia. There isn’t a single part of the journey that isn’t breath-taking. This journey is perfect for people who want to get away from civilisation and to ogle at top quality natural landscapes.
Vancouver to Banff, Canada
Undoubtedly the most beautiful train journey in Canada, this route winds past glacial lakes and through lush valleys flanked by snow-capped mountains. The air will be the freshest you will have ever breathed and the magnificence of Mother Nature will be omnipresent. If you were looking for some snaps to spice up your Instagram, this trip will provide you with ample material.