If your twin passions are sport and travel, then there are plenty of exciting options out there. Whatever sport or team you follow, being a dedicated fan makes exploring the world that much more exciting. Continue reading
Some of the best modes of transport aren’t necessarily the most efficient, but as the old saying goes – it’s the journey not the destination. That is particularly true of some of the great train journeys in the world. For example, consider The Glacier Express. This train in Switzerland takes you from St Moritz to Zermatt – the journey time is nearly eight hours. There are far quicker ways to travel between these two points – it is only a distance of two hundred and ninety one kilometres, but in terms of an amazing journey you can’t beat the long slow ride on The Glacier Express
The world’s slowest express train
The Swiss have a slightly perverse sense of humour, and they take pride in the fact that The Glacier Express is the world’s slowest express train. The use of the word “express” in its title doesn’t actually refer to the speed that it travels at but indicates that you don’t need to change trains at all – it is a direct train that takes you the entire journey.
Why travel on The Glacier Express?
If you want spectacular mountain views and a unique appreciation of the Swiss Alps, then there is no better way than travelling on The Glacier Express. Your journey will take you across two hundred and ninety one bridges, through ninety one tunnels, and at the highest point you will be at two thousand and thirty three metres above sea level. Through the steepest parts of the journey the train effectively spirals up and down the sides of the mountains – travelling almost a “W” shape in terms of altitude with the highest point of the journey in the middle. Your views are maximised if you travel in one of the first class panoramic coaches that has huge windows that curve over the ceiling of the carriage.
All year round travel
When the Glacier Express first opened in 1930 it wasn’t possible for the train to travel during winter as the track became snowbound at its highest point known as the Furka Pass. In 1982 however, the Furka Base Tunnel was opened which changed the route of the train and meant that year round travel was possible. It was at this point that The Glacier Express began to be promoted as a tourism opportunity to experience the Swiss Alps and passenger numbers quickly grew from around twenty thousand passengers per year in 1982 up to over two hundred and fifty thousand passengers per year today.
The route taken by The Glacier Express is divided into four different sections – the Albula Line; the Oberalp section; the Furka section; and the Mattertal line. This slow moving train effectively enables you to experience all of Switzerland as you travel – the two famous resorts of St Moritz and Zermatt as well as through the regions known as the Valais, the Engadine, and the Gotthard Pass which is one of the lowest parts of Switzerland, this is where the Rhone River and the Rhine River begin.
Sit back, get your camera ready, and embrace the slow, steep, windy ride through the Swiss Alps on The Glacier Express – truly one of the world’s great train journeys.
If you are looking for other great train journeys around the world then discover more with Railbookers.
No matter what your interests, Digbeth is a fantastic place for entertainment and socialisation. With free or cheap entry available on a number of attractions, we look at one of Birmingham’s upcoming events that is sure to be perfect for Digbeth residents. Continue reading →
Turkey is rapidly becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. In 2011 it was the sixth most popular tourist destination in the world. But more importantly, tourist arrivals jumped by 8.7% between 2010 and 2011, more than any other country in the
top 10. Turkey holidays are popular for many reasons; the weather a major pull. But aside from plenty of sunshine, Turkey has rich cultural heritage, a landscape that encompasses dry, rocky plateaus and fertile, lush green valleys and beaches that are to die for. On top of all this, it is a cheap holiday destination. On The Beach offers cheap holidays to Turkey focusing on the beachy side of Turkish life, but there is much to do beyond the beach. Read on to find out more.
Paragliding seems to have found its spiritual home in Turkey. High above the beach of Oludeniz hundreds of paragliders jump from steep rocky faces and sail through the sky down to the emerald-gold beach. The unique winds and thermals in the area make the mountains above Oludeniz in Fethiye one of the best places in Turkey and Europe to paraglide. You don’t need to worry about taking on several hundred metres of ‘falling with style’ on your own; tandem gliders mean professional paragliders will be with you the whole way.
More and more people are using their holiday time to learn something new. In Turkey you can learn how to belly dance or cook traditional Turkish dishes in Istanbul or master crane and eight-angle post on yoga retreats in Side and Datca. There are almost endless possibilities for photography and art holidays, generally organised in small groups and often for weeklong excursions or merely half-day locally run courses arranged at your resort.
Volunteering holidays are a great way of giving something back to the country you love exploring. In Turkey you can do anything from assisting with local village building projects to teaching English as a second language. Positions are available across Turkey and there are numerous institutions dedicated to helping you find the right placement. Have a look on goabroad.com for inspiration.