Trains. The first sign of modernity at the beginning of the 19th century. The only way to travel fast until the invention of planes and the wide diffusion of cars and buses. What else? The set or at least background character in many novels and tales. One of the most favourite toys for children. And maybe many other things.
I started travelling by train quite recently, when I enrolled in Venice for my master’s degree. Every morning I caught the train and took a one-hour long journey, and every evening I did the same to go home. Therefore, after spending two hours per day on a train I realized that it was the best way to travel, at least for me. It was comfortable, I had time to read or talk to a friend of mine, – or sometimes I could fall asleep – or I could simply watch over the window and take a look of the country noticing the changes every season. Later, I started to travel by train for pleasure, going around Italy and even to Vienna, using the OBB, the Austrian national company, and travelling by night through the Alps.
It is really a simple way to travel, in many cases cheaper than the rest of the public transports, and it is more eco-friendly than cars and planes. You can reach every city and almost every little village, so you can enjoy the atmosphere in a big city or relax in the country, maybe even in the same journey. If you are young and you want to try this kind of combined journey (cities-villages or different countries in one time) you can take advantage of the Interrail pass. With this pass, you can tour all Europe by train visiting every day a different place and meeting new friend along the trip.
However, if you prefer something luxurious or you simply want to experience a vintage atmosphere you can catch the Simplon Orient Express, yes, exactly the Orient Express eternalized by Agatha Christie! And you van travel around Europe in a real historical train! It still follows the route of the 1883! But it is really expensive. So, if you travel with your backpack you know that every country has the national train company that makes offers and discounts in different periods of the year.
Apart from these reasons, a journey made by train allows you to enjoy the beautiful landscapes around you, taking notes of the places you cross by, you do not have to think about the size of the luggage or worry for the conditions of the roads. You have only to sit, relax and enjoy the journey!