Travel – Blue Train

Here’s why we reckon the Blue Train is a bucket list must!

True Love - - CONTENTS - By KEMONG MOPEDI

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

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