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15 Most Scenic Train Routes On Earth You Must Visit

15 Most Scenic Train Routes On Earth You Must Visit

Despite being a technology that is well over 150 years old, trains are still an important mode of transportation in many countries around the world. They’re a great and cheap way to cover a long distance if you don’t mind spending a little more time traveling than you would an airplane. It also happens to be one of the best ways to travel if you like sightseeing. Here are 15 of the world’s most scenic train routes.

1. The Flåm Railway, Norway

scenic train route

    We’ll start out with a relatively short route. The Flåm Railway is only about 55 minutes long but it really is among the most beautiful you’ll ever seen. It rides down into Flåm Valley. Passengers can expect lush green landscapes, Nordic farmhouses, waterfalls, ravines, and gigantic mountain ranges. It’s about as much as you can conceivably squeeze into an hour long train ride. It’s also among the cheapest at $60USD.

    2. Canadian Rockies Railway, Canada

    scenic train route

      Canada is home to some of the harshest environments in North America but they also happen to be among the most enjoyable to look at. For the price of a used car ($1879CAN to $8200CAN), you can take a 7-day trip from Vancouver to Toronto and see the best landscapes that Canada has to offer. Accommodations include a heated seat on a luxury railroad, a great view of Jasper (Canada’s largest national park), Yoho National Park, and the Columbian ice fields. There are few better ways to experience Canada without going to a hockey game.

      3. Trans Siberian Railroad, Russia

      scenic train route

        There is no better way to travel through Russia than the Trans Siberian Railroad. It’s 6000 miles long and can take passengers a long time to ride from end to end. In that time you’ll get to experience pretty much all of the landscapes of northern Asia because the railroad doesn’t just go through Russia but also through parts of China and Mongolia. It’s a very popular railroad with some of the most truly breathtaking views. First class will cost you a couple of thousand dollars but if you don’t mind mixing it up with the locals, you can ride for cheaper.

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        4. Glacier Express, Switzerland

        scenic train route

          All you need to do is look at the picture to see the reason why this train is included on this list. During the train’s 7-hour ride, you’ll becoming intimately familiar with the iconic Alps as this train passes through 91 tunnels and 291 bridges as it twists and turns through the mountains. It’s a one of a kind experience. Again, all you need to do is look at the picture.

          5. Cusco to Machu Picchu, Peru

          scenic train route

            You may know Machu Picchu as the site of the Inca Ruins and the train ride there can be spectacular. There are actually a number of railways that make this journey. They range from cheap and functional to expensive and luxurious. It doesn’t really matter which one you take because you get the scenery either way. You’ll see the Urumbamba River, vast fields filled with animal life, and it all is the foreground to a wondrous mountain range in the background. Of course, there are the Inca Ruins too which are breathtaking all on their own.

            6. The Royal Scotsman, Scotland

            scenic train route

              Much like the Canadian Rockies Railroad above, this one will cost you approximately on arm and one leg. You can pay an average of $2000USD per day to enjoy the Royal Scotsman but it’s well worth it. You get food prepared by world class chefs, classic experiences like whiskey tasting and salmon fishing, and of course you’ll get to enjoy the raw Scottish landscape. You really will get to see all there is to see in Scotland in terms of environment including beaches, hamlets, glens, mountains, and valleys. It’s a veritable slideshow of beauty and truly one of the most unforgettable experiences you can have on wheels.

              7. The Palace on Wheels, India

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              scenic train route

                India has a famous reputation for their trains being a little brutal to ride but there are some there that can be an experience unlike any other. One such train is The Palace on Wheels which will take you through the desert to the Taj Mahal with stops at the lake palace of Udaipar and Jaisalmer where you can ride camels on a desert safari if you want. It costs a pretty penny at around $2000USD for basic packages but there are few better ways to experience the wonder of the Indian landscape.

                8. The Blue Train, South Africa

                scenic train route

                  Africa is known for its endless wilderness, vast deserts, and dangerous wildlife. You could always go on a safari and brave the elements or you could sell your car and take The Blue Train. Its cheapest package is $2000 but you’ll be treated to marble floors, butlers, and the unimaginably scenery that only Africa can provide. You’ll see wildlife, mountains, plains, and pretty much all the other best parts of Africa. It’s pricey but definitely worth it.

                  9. The Coastal Classic Train, Alaska

                  scenic train route

                    As the name suggests, The Coastal Classic Train features a most classic view of the Alaskan wilderness along with its craggy mountain peaks, ice blue waters, and if you go during the right time of year, its vibrant green landscapes. You’ll also see a glacier and if you’re lucky you may see some wildlife such as the beluga whale. It’s only a four hour trip but we’ve no doubt you can grab a thousand pictures anyway.

                    10. The Ghan, Australia

                    scenic train route

                      There is no better way to enjoy the wonders of Australia than The Ghan. It runs from the south of the continent to the north so you’ll transverse the entire continent in just a couple of days. During your trip you’ll see the legendary Australian outback including the Katherine Gorge, Flinders ranges, Alice Springs, and of course hundreds of miles of untamed Australian wilderness. It’s a tad expensive at $1420AUS but that’s not bad for what you get to see.

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                      11. The Sky Train, Tibet

                      scenic train route

                        This train gets its name from the fact that it spends most of its journey over 4000 miles above sea level. It’s one of the cheaper trains on the list with the average price being around $185USD but don’t let the price fool you. You’ll be riding at the top of the mountains where you can see the vast landscapes around you not to mention you’ll be among the snow capped mountain peaks. This is often called the ceiling of the sky train.

                        12. Talyllyn Railway, Wales

                        scenic train route

                          Many of these trains are huge, mammoth trains that trek hundreds or thousands of miles. The Talyllyn Railway has a measly 14.5 mile track but don’t let that fool you. It runs through Fathew Valley which is a small grassy paradise in Wales. While the scenery is fantastic, this is one instance where the train itself is also pretty iconic. It was the train that inspired Thomas the Tank Engine. It’s staffed by volunteers and it’s really a quaint little trip to take.

                          13. The Grand Canyon Railway, Arizona

                          scenic train route

                            Have you ever wanted to see the Grand Canyon but the prospect of riding down in a donkey not your cup of tea? Why not try the Grand Canyon Railway. It runs through 130 miles (round trip) of the harsh and wondrous Arizona desert and eventually ends up at the south rim of the Grand Canyon. If you’re down for the rugged Arizona landscape followed up by one of the natural wonders of the world, then this is the railway to take.

                            14. Douro Line, Portugal

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                            scenic train route

                              If you want to enjoy the historic landscapes of Portugal along with its amazing Douro River then this is the way to do it. The trip crosses 30 bridges and passes under 26 tunnels as it winds its way around the Douro River from Porto to Pocinho. Along the way you’ll find picturesque views of the river valley and it’ll even make stops as old style train stations so you can check those out too. It’s best to ride between early spring and late summer when the almond trees are in bloom. It’s downright heavenly.

                              15. Rhine Valley Line, Germany

                              scenic train route

                                Our last scenic train route is one of the best if you’re a fan of old school architecture. On the Rhine Valley Line you’ll see Germanic castles from centuries ago and almost perfect towns and villages that seem to bring the past to life. What’s even better is that no matter which point you start or end at, there are even more towns, villages, and castles for you to visit. If you go all out and get the Eurail Pass, you can switch from trains to riverboats that are also operated by the Rhine Line.

                                 

                                If you’re a fan of unforgettable landscapes, then trains are still the best way to travel. If you can, make sure you make it to at least one of these scenic train route destinations so you can experience it first hand. Don’t forget to bring the camera!

                                Featured photo credit: Digital Spy via i1.cdnds.net

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                                Last Updated on January 15, 2019

                                8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                                Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                                Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                                Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                                Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                                The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                                There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                                How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                                According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                                Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                                Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                                The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                                Listen carefully:

                                We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                                The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                                Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                                8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                                There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                                Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                                1. Pray Daily

                                You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                                When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                                Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                                Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                                2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                                A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                                By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                                Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                                If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                                This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                                How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                                3. Smile Often

                                Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                                Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                                Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                                The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                                4. Organize Your Working Desk

                                A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                                When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                                Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                                Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                                5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                                I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                                Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                                What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                                6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                                God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                                I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                                I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                                7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                                You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                                How do you do that? This is my formula:

                                First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                                If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                                If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                                If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                                Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                                8. Go Exercise

                                Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                                The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                                You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                                12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                                The Bottom Line

                                It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                                It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                                Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                                More Resources About Mindfulness

                                Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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