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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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                                Joseph Hindy

                                A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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                                Last Updated on July 8, 2020

                                18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                                18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                                The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

                                1. Understand Yourself Better

                                Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

                                Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

                                2. Keep Track of Small Changes

                                I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

                                Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

                                3. Become Aware of What Matters

                                As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

                                You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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                                4. Boost Creativity

                                The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

                                When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

                                You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

                                5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

                                A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

                                Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

                                6. Process Life Experiences

                                When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

                                Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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                                7. Stress Relief

                                In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

                                Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

                                8. Provide Direction

                                Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

                                One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

                                9. Solve Problems

                                Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

                                Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

                                When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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                                10. Find Relief From Fighting

                                Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

                                Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

                                11. Find Meaning in Life

                                Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

                                12. Allow Yourself to Focus

                                Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

                                13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

                                When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

                                14. Let the Past Go

                                I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

                                15. Allow Freedom

                                Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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                                16. Enhance Your Career

                                Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

                                Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

                                17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

                                All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

                                18. Catalog Your Life for Others

                                No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

                                We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

                                Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

                                Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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