Wednesday, August 16, 2017

In 'training' how to explore, absorb and capture more of the world on Instagram

Riding the rails throughout Europe provides time to really connect with nature

Patti Pietsschmann

Take the slow train. Catch the scenery. Record it all on Instagram, Facebook or  other social media. Sit back and relax.  This is not for people in a rush. 
Here are just a few  ‘Instagrammable’ European train journeys from Rail Europe, distributor of European train tickets, passes and tours. Itineraries are available for booking via or by phone at 1-800-438-RAIL.  

SWITZERLAND-Gotthard Panorama Express is a new train designed for those in search of breathtaking landscapes. Start on a boat ride across Lake Lucerne, before seamlessly connecting to Reuss Valley and then travelling through the St. Gotthard mountain range. After passing through the Gotthard Tunnel, travelers arrive in Ticino before winding through quaint Swiss villages on the way to either Bellinzona or Lugano.

GoldenPass --shines as one of the brightest stars in Switzerland’s rail network, the GoldenPass line stretches nearly 150 miles from Lucerne to Lake Geneva. Travelers enjoy unforgettable views of so many of Switzerland’s highlights from Montreux to Zweisimmen as they relax aboard panoramic trains. While these ultra-modern, ultra-comfortable trains will appeal to many Swiss holiday revelers, others undoubtedly will embrace the romantic, luxurious ride provided by GoldenPass Classic Belle Epoque coaches. These beautiful trains boast unique “wine cellar” coaches that serve an assortment of wines and regional specialties.

Glacier Express is famous for its panoramic views of snow-capped mountains, breathtaking rivers, peaceful alpine pastures, magical castles, and charming villages. It’s also famous for its unrivaled pampering of travelers throughout the train journey. The Glacier Express is the ideal way to travel from the eastern to the western Swiss Alps by train. Along the way, venture across steep mountain passes and impressive viaducts. The Glacier Express voyages through 91 tunnels and across 291 bridges while you experience the alpine wonders of Switzerland.

NORWAY where sensational views of high peaks, jagged rock faces and craggy mountain slopes loom into view as you journey around via rail. Travelers often take the train from Oslo to Bergen, one of Norway’s prettiest cities encircled by 7 mountains. Here the train tracks snake along creeks—iced solid in winter—and through the mountains.  From Bergen, head north to Alesund, where you can mix it up with your transport choices and connect from a train to a boat that glides through the fjords. From Alesund, it’s just a short trip to Andalsnes, the departure station of the Rauma line, a scenic train that travels through magnificent alpine landscapes, overlooking fjords and passing by the impressive 5,000-foot high Trollvegen cliffs. 
To book a Scandinavian vacation, visit Rail Europe, here.

GERMANY by the Rhine Valley Line that connects some of the country's  quaintest Rhine villages, where vineyards sit on terraced hillsides below looming medieval structures. There may be more charm packed into this 62 mile stretch than anywhere else in Germany. The Rhine Valley offers romantic German landscapes straight from a fairy tale. Take the Mittelrheinbahn (MRB; Central Rhine Railway service), which follows the left bank between Mainz and Koblenz, stopping at all stations. The best part? Hopping from train to boat or vice versa using the same ticket! 

Black Forest Line--this scenic  route rolls from the small town of Offenburg, through grassy fields to Hornberg, and past deep green pines to Donaueschingen. The train then runs down to Singen where it joins the Upper Rhine Railway to the shores of Lake Constance (Konstanz). Donaueschingen makes a good place for a pit stop, about an hour and a half into the route. Foodies will find plenty of places to tuck into hearty Black Forest dishes such as the Schwarzwalder Shinken (ham) or Kalbsrouladen (veal roulade). 
Both routes are available on a Eurail pass, which can be booked through Rail Europe.