I'm taking the train down to San Diego today from LA and am reminded of how much I dig this mode of transport. This train route, in particular, is also pretty amazing because the train runs along the California coastline for a large part of the trip so you get a premium view of the ocean while you're NOT waiting in anger-inducing traffic.
In many ways, trains seem to be from a forgotten era in these parts but there are actually a surprising number of really awesome train rides. Just thinking about trains makes me want to act like a proper lady, don a full length dress complete with a corset, a posh hat, gloves and speak with an accent. There's something that feels so fancy, rich and progressive about them. And have you watched all seasons of The Bachelor like I have? The producers love to throw a train date in there every few seasons. Here are a few I found worth mentioning:
Has a full restaurant that you dine at while riding through vineyards and sipping wine. Um, yes please!
Crosses 291 bridges while touring the beauty of le Switzerland.
Yep, simply obsessed with the exterior color scheme of this private, luxury train from London to Venice.
From New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling, this cartoonish looking train runs straight through the authentic lifestyle and culture of West Bengal. Wes Anderson's Darjeeling Limited was loosely based on the Toy Train.
Debatably aptly named, this train starts from Delhi, India and ends up in the royal state of Rajasthan.
The trip also offers an elephant welcome in Jaipur, a camel safari and an afternoon at the Taj Mahal. My hunch is, these gimmicks might end up feeling a bit touristy but at least they sound exotic!
The Rovos Rail travels through South Africa, Namibia, and Tanzania. The Victorian style sleepers are complete with bathtubs and the luxurious dining car even requires a jacket and tie for the gentlemen and a cocktail dress for the ladies. You will no doubt feel like Karen Dinesen in Out of Africa on this bad boy!
If you weren't already aware, the Hogwarts Express does not exist, sadly, but it would unquestionably be the coolest train experience of them all if it did! (Although I don't know about that whole "running into the wall to get to the platform" thing). #nerdalert
*See: "Harry Potter," if you're confused by this