What is it about train travel that captivates the imagination of travelers in every corner of the world? What about it makes the word “romantic” so apt? Do you have a rail experience that perfectly captures why we love trains so much? Or are you one of the people who actually avoids trains whenever possible?
Train travel is very romanticized. Just think of Midnight On The The Orient Express, or; I don’t know, any other early movies from the Carey Grant era, where everyone traveled in luxurious train cars, wearing their fancy dresses and pearls, getting caught up in some steamy affair with a mysterious stranger as the wheels bumped down the tracks…set forth to exotic destinations and wonderful unknown.
I mean, that is unless you’ve actually traveled by train.
Then you know the food in your high school cafeteria is more edible than most café car’s. If you can find a bathroom , it is usually so unpleasant that you’d rather risk balancing in between to train cars speeding down the track at high velocities while sticking your arse over the side. The sleepers for 3 are barley big enough for 1, and the regular seats are about as comfortable as an electric chair. You also probably know that; especially in the USA, the price of a train ticket could feed a small country, and the people that travel by trains are not all mysterious and steamy. I’ve had my upper thigh rubbed by a 45 year old man that though I was a 16 year old in high school (let me tell you how fast I jumped up and started calling him all sorts of names at the top of my lungs. I don’t know what happened to Mr. Molester…just that he quickly exited my car, with a couple very big biker looking dudes angrily following after him.)
I would love to find a luxury train, and travel across Asia in one. I actually REALLY REALLY REALLY want to do the entire length of the Trans-Siberian Railway. I have no idea how the actual accommodations are, but it would be amazing to travel through such rugged countryside, and photograph out the windows as I go.
I do know not all trains are horrible too. But the ones that I have been on are not the best. You do get to see beautiful countryside (sometimes), but even on a train down the coast California, I could only find 1 functioning bathroom in the entire train, that quickly got rather disgusting. I stopped drinking water just so I wouldn’t have to use it again. If there are nice trains out there, can you let me know. That would be great.
But yet, somehow, with everything I know from my train ride experiences in America and Europe (and from stories and photos I’ve seen of other’s actual train rides in other countries) I still hold onto that romanticized notion of long distance train travel to foreign lands of wonder.
Hollywood is great for permanent imbedation of unrealistic ideals. GO HOLLYWOOD!
This is part of Boots n All 2012 Indie Travel Challenge. I’m doing this in hopes of becoming a more consistent and better travel-blogger. And maybe one day traversing the Trans-Siberian railway or finding that mystical Hollywood luxurious movie train.