Travel – Blue Train
Here’s why we reckon the Blue Train is a bucket list must!
There’s something about being airborne that’s unnatural, even if you’re not acro- or claustrophobic — it could be the view of the clouds or the turbulence that reminds us that our everyday reality is the polar opposite of the current experience. And then there’s travelling by railway, which most people dread because they think it’s noisy and takes forever. We’re here to tell you that railway travel is probably the most peaceful thing you’ll ever experience. Yep, you read right! Once aboard, the sound of the wheels grinding against the tracks could rock the fussiest baby to sleep.
Think about it – how often do we get a chance to tap out and get in touch with our innermost feelings without the urge to quickly step out to run an errand, thus interrupting our ‘me time’? Very seldom, right? Being aboard the luxurious Blue Train, with its old-school hospitality, has many perks. Chief among them is being forced to relax and make new friends, as the communal areas are cosy enough, but still allow for guests to not be in each other’s faces. The best, and our favourite, part of the entire Blue Train experience is that internet connectivity is bad to nonexistent for most of the trip. But if you really must get in touch with the outside world, complimetary WiFi is available. Be it through a travel stokvel option, lottery winnings or savings, here are three reasons why a Blue Train experience needs to be on your wishlist.
1. Undeniably one of South Africa’s oldest tourist attractions, the Blue Train offers three routes — Cape Town to Pretoria and vice versa, as well as one to the Kruger National Park. The 31-hour Cape Town trip offers the most scenic routes, especially when the train enters the Western Cape, or Mpumalanga, if you’re travelling to the Kruger National Park. These are views you wouldn’t ordinarily see if travelling by car. If you don’t feel like soaking in the scenery from your suite, there’s an observation deck with panoramic windows for your viewing pleasure. The routes also include planned excursions.
2. Now you may be wondering if there’s anything to do during the day whilst inside the Blue Train. If you’re not into reading or napping, you can hang out in one of the five-star lounges. Dinner aboard the train is a serious affair – one that requires a strict formal dress code, too! But don’t worry, the food will more than make up for your effort. The menu is first class and comes with a varied wine list. All of this is all-inclusive, with the exception of some champagnes, caviar and external phone calls. Did we mention you even get assigned your own Khaphela (read: butler) to tend to your needs? The dining car sits 42 guests at a time, but to ensure that everyone’s seated comfortably, breakfast, lunch and supper are split into two seatings.
3. The sleeping cabins offer enough room to move around. The deluxe suites look like an elegant lounger during the day and by night, are converted into a dimly lit bedroom. The luxury suites boast twin or double-bedded suites with luxurious bath tubs and a digital entertainment system. Also on offer is a bar, books and magazines.
For more information visit www.bluetrain.co.za