hidden europe 69

From slow boats to slow trains

by hidden europe

Picture above: Ribblehead station on the Settle and Carlisle railway line (photo © Georgesixth / dreamstime.com)l.


If you have some time to spare, don’t take the fast train when there’s a slower option. The latter will almost certainly be more interesting. We share some of our favourite slow journeys, citing examples from Calabria, Danish Jutland, Spain and Germany.

Our article on a slow journey by boat from Rhodes to Athens exemplifies one of the enduring principles which has underpinned hidden europe, viz. “Never take the fast option. If there’s a slower route, chances are that it will be more interesting.” Not everyone, we concede, has time to spend 32 hours on a car ferry. But the principle can be applied to shorter journeys on land. How many people who regularly travel from Cologne to Bavaria by train have ever travelled up the Rhine Gorge? And there are surely many who have travelled a score of times by train from Scotland to England without ever once using the celebrated Settle & Carlisle route through the Yorkshire Dales.

We have a fine repertoire of slow alternatives to main shipping and rail routes.

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