Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Current City: Barcelona
There's a certain romance surrounding travel that is definitely lacking when you fly somewhere. As anyone who's flown in the last few years will attest, there is almost nothing enjoyable about it, with the exception of actually arriving at your destination with your luggage intact. The list of complaints seems to be unending; from the outrages taxes and fees that you are charged when you book your ticket (what the hell is the Service Charge for anyway? I'm booking it online!), to the baggage restrictions, to the fact that the seats make a telephone booth seem spacious. My gripes about airport security alone would take so long to type it would probably drain my laptop battery.
These seem to disappear with rail travel. Now, obviously there has and will always be a need to fly places; that high-speed train between New York and London is probably a long way off. I'm sure that most Europeans will dismiss rail travel as pedestrian (pun intendid), but coming from North America, there is an unmatched novelty about watching the beautiful Spanish landscape fly past my window at 285 km/hr. I think a lot of Europeans view trains the same way most people view planes; a way to get from A to B. A means to an end. Railways in N. America still hold that appeal and romance; just look at the Rocky Mountaineer, which takes you through some of the most beautiful vistas imaginable. Or the great Australian railroad between Sydney and Perth.
Sure, you could fly for about 1/3rd the cost and have it take 1/10 the time, but where's the fun in that? Train travel will always be the slower, more expensive alternative to flying.
And I wouldnt have it any other way.

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