The other day, in Johannesburg living a Travelife, we woke up early to take a car to Pretoria to catch the Blue Train to Cape Town.
The distance between Johannesburg and Cape Town is about 1600 kilometers, and by airplane, from Johannesburg airport, which is the nearest airport for Pretoria, it will take you just under two hours.
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ALL ABOUT THE JOURNEY
However, by the Blue Train, it takes about 30 hours.
But the journey is the experience in itself.
In fact, it's an experience like no other -- especially in this modern age when everything is instant and people are so impatient to get to their destinations as quickly as possible.
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THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY
On the Blue Train, it's all about the voyage, and the people you meet, and the things you see outside your windows as you travel across South Africa.
I've been on several luxury trains before, so I'm quite used to the configurations for these old-fashioned carriages.
But I have to say that the Blue Train is among the most comfortable trains of this class.
The cabins are spacious, the beds are so heavenly, and the ensuite bathrooms are positively palatial by train standards.
IT'S THE COMPANY THAT MATTERS
The company onboard is the other attraction.
Most people who take the Blue Train are very experienced travelers with lots of stories to tell.
We met so many nice people on this train.
In fact, we sat next to one British couple by chance at the very first meal -- and we liked them so much that we arranged to sit with them at every meal.
BRUNCH ONBOARD THE BLUE TRAIN
We began with very nice pink champagne.
Then, anyone who wanted pastries or fruit could have some, as it was brunch.
For an appetizer, most of us chose the smoked salmon.
For the main course, most chose a meat dish.
However, I decided to ask the chef to give me a salad with more smoked salmon on the side -- and I was very happy with this.
Dessert was beautiful as well.
It was hard to imagine that this full-course meal was created in a tiny kitchen of a moving train, and then served on porcelain, accompanied by silverware.
VERY LONG MEALS ONBOARD THE BLUE TRAIN
We enjoyed our conversations with this British couple so much that the result was that our table took the full course at each meal and lingered on way past everyone else had left.
We were easily doing three hours for each meal, accompanied by lots of good food and wonderful wines, journeying across South Africa, and living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.