What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘TRAVEL’? It almost sounds like an unattainable dream now. Ever since the implementation of social distancing, courtesy novel coronavirus, traveling has become an activity to be cherished from the past.
While we are on the topic of traveling in the past, some extremely interesting pictures recently surfaced the internet and went viral within hours.
India had started growing with various new technologies being introduced to its people under the rule of the British Raj in the 20th century. One such example is the air-travel which started in the year 1911.
However, it was an extremely new and highly uncommon mode of transport for people back then. The most common modes of transport then were either trains or buses.
International travel in the present date happens to be a lengthy procedure of complicated activities like visa applications and passports renewals, booking tickets, etc. But people in the past seem to have lived a hassle-free life.
These black and white photos were taken in the 1950s at the Victoria Coach Station, where people were boarding a bus named ‘Albert’.
The World’s Longest Bus Route
The bus covered the route between London to Kolkata (then Calcutta) and then back from Kolkata to London with Australia being its final destination – making it the world’s longest bus route.
On its way from London to Kolkata, the passengers get to travel via Belgium, West Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and West Pakistan before reaching India. The route in India followed Delhi, Agra, Allahabad, Banaras, and finally Calcutta.
Albert’s first run started on April 15th, 1957. They reached Calcutta on June 5th.
Traveling In Style
Besides the pictures of the passengers boarding the bus, a picture of the ticket went viral too. According to the ticket, a one-side ride cost 145 pounds which is Rs. 13,644 in the present day. That is quite an amount especially back in those days!
The ticket also highlighted the places where they used to stop at for sight-seeing. It included the Rhine Valley, the Raj Path, The Taj Mahal, the Peacock Throne, and Banaras on the Ganges.
They also used to stop at Vienna, Istanbul, Kabul, Salzburg, Tehran, and New Delhi where passengers were free to go on a shopping spree.
The best part was the fact that they could travel in complete luxury, just like the ticket read – “Your complete home while you travel”.
It took care of both basic as well as luxurious amenities of the passengers including – food, fan heaters, a lounge, sleeping bunks, carpeted floor, radio, and the like.
Imagine traveling amidst such luxury without having to worry about any visa and passport checks at the entry points of each country. Initially, most people thought the pictures were fake.
However, the details in the brochure along with the other pictures surfacing the internet proved otherwise and they started tweeting about it, wondering what the experience must have been like.
With the on-going pandemic making air-travel quite risky now, it probably wouldn’t be that bad an idea to go back to this simple yet luxurious mode of travel again. After all road trips do have their own charm, don’t they!
Image Credits: Google Images
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