It’s time to take flygskam seriously and replace flights with these unbelievably beautiful train and boat journeys instead, which are much safer for the environment. By Tanvi Jain
Last year, 16-year-old climate activist, Greta Thunberg, made headlines, when she sailed to New York harbour in a zero-carbon emission vessel, to attend the United Nations Climate Summit. Her speech backing Sweden’s flygskam or flight shame movement, originally championed by Olympic athlete Bjorn Ferry, created an outrage, and garnered support from across the planet. The idea was to motivate people to replace flights with more environment friendly methods of travelling like via boats and trains.
Here’s a list of places you can travel to via some of the most scenic train and boat routes, instead of taking a flight, and avoid inflicting more harm to the planet.
1. The Qinghai-Tibet Railway-Xining To Lhasa, China
This rail route running over 5,000 metres above sea level, connects Xining in mainland China to Lhasa in Tibet. Known to be the world’s highest railway line, it’s often termed as an engineering marvel. Embarking upon this train journey would mean passing through the high mountains of Qinghai, and into Tibet, and travelling past the scenic glaciers, salt lakes and villages. It’s a 1,956-km long stretch extending across the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and takes just one day to finish the entire trip. Blue Qinghai Lake, white Qarhan Salt Bridge, Namtso Lake and the snow covered Tanggula Mountains are the major highlights of this journey.
2. West Highland Line-Glasgow to Mallaig, Scotland
Take this railway line if you want to experience true beauty of Scotland. Immediately after leaving from Glasgow, the train passes through the remote Rannoch Moor, Ben Nevis and halts in Fort William. Before reaching Mallaig, it also passes through Glenfinnan Viaduct, featured in Harry Potter series. The train runs 100 feet above sea level, and splits either Westward to Oban, or North to Mallaig.
3. Monte Carlo Harbour, Monaco
Considering the environmental benefits of ferry travel, Monaco launched the facility of solar powered Bateau Bus in 2008. The service that shuttles people across Monte Carlo harbour, soon became an alternative sightseeing option. EnRoute this ferry, one might end up spotting celebrities draping themselves over the decks, apart from the seafront hotels and Prince’s Palace.
4. Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
Considered to be one of Europe’s most beautiful coastlines, Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast meets the Adriatic Sea, stretching from Zadar in the north to Dubrovnik in the south. Apart from a private yacht, the Jadrolinija ferry line is one way of exploring it. The route connecting Rijeka and Dubrovnik passes through the small uninhabited islands of the country, and stops at Zadar, Split, Hvar and Korcula. And of course, the medieval buildings and Roman ruins only act as an addition to the already picturesque journey.
Related: This Climate Change Report Is Why You Need To Make Conscious Travel Choices Pronto