From Porto, a traveller undertook what is the longest train ride in the world. An odyssey that stretched for 17,000 kilometres and ended only two weeks after departure.
Traveling by train gives us the opportunity to rest our gaze on the landscape and enjoy the images that slide through the window as if it were a film. It is not by chance that some of the most striking rail routes in Portugal depart from Porto, such as the MiraDouro train, which connects the city of Invicta to Pocinho - a journey up the Douro, through the vine terraces, is also special as this ride is done on board of train cars manufactured in the 1940s.
But, despite the breathtaking landscapes, this route would not be enough to satisfy an anonymous traveller, who in 2019 undertook the longest train journey in the world and whose experience was described by the online magazine Basement Geographer. Fascinated by this means of transport, he decided to make the longest direct route possible by train, and never leaving the train, unless he had to change trains.
And so, the traveller chose Porto to start this odyssey: "Starting in Portugal at Porto, the first two days of this trip is (relatively) simple, as all of the countries one would travel through are members of the European Union and all but Poland are covered by Eurail, a consortium of rail carriers which collaborate in selling tickets", in a quote reproduced by Fred Berg at the Basement Geographer.
From Invicta, the traveller headed for Coimbra, taking the Sud Expresso there towards Hendaye. And, always on rails, he never stopped: he crossed France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Mongolia, China, and Vietnam.
Part of the route was done on the rails of the legendary Trans-Siberian train, and the odyssey only ended in Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, in southern Vietnam. Without resorting to any means of transport other than the train, the traveller travelled 17,000 kilometres over two weeks.
A testimony that leaves us dreaming of travelling and the wish to leave. And on the way back, once again, enjoy the views of Porto when arriving by rail.