Best of 2019 (2)


This category is for any kind of transport other than flights, as they come into the airline category.

I used a good variety of train services during 2019. The one from Dublin to Belfast in March was a “first”. It is a joint venture between Northern Ireland Railways and Iarnròd Èireann. It was comfortable, but slow. That route cries out for a high speed rail service.

I got my high speed service in October, between Brussels and Köln. A German ICE in one direction and Thalys in the other. Both were delayed…


The service I used in January between Arlanda Airport and Uppsala is quick enough, although not high speed like the service into Stockholm. That made it affordable, of course.

In Britain, I used several train companies on my trips to Manchester, Sheffield and Nottingham. I had mixed experiences.

I did not have as many boats trips as usual during the year. I took short ferry sailings in the Faroes (Tórshavn to Nólsoy) and Istanbul (Europe to Asia). The vapur in Istanbul was wonderful.

The Ternan

I took a couple of long distance (as opposed to local or airport) bus rides, which is unusual for me. One was a 2 hour journey from Klaksvík to Tórshavn. It was spectacular.

Bus View

So was the 5 hour marshrutka trip from Tbilisi to Yerevan. It was uncomfortable, however.

Mountains Calling

I had rented cars in Georgia and Iceland, and they were definitely a good decision for getting around to see the places on my itineraries.

Sadcars’ Sadcar

I had a bike while I was in Reykjavík – it came with my Airbnb. I really enjoyed using in to get in and out of the city centre.

I used trams in Dublin and in Sheffield – they are still a novelty to Scots. We tore up our tram lines in the 50s and 60s to make more space for cars. Yes, quite.

I got back on the metro in Barcelona after an absence of 45 years. I got on the metro in Tbilisi for the first time. At £0.13 per journey, the Tbilisi metro has a lot going for it.

Rustaveli Metro Station

I also took a cablecar and a funicular in Tbilisi. Ideal for getting up those hills in warm weather.


Last, but most definitely not least, I took a scheduled helicopter service in the Faroes. Atlantic Airways operates inter island services and I flew from Tórshavn to Klaksvík. It was a 12 minute flight and going back on the bus took 2 hours.

Klaksvík Heliport

A decision has not been easy. It came down to a choice between the minibus trip to Yerevan, or Atlantic Airways’ helicopter flight. Eventually I went for the helicopter experience for this year’s winner.

ⓒ iain taylor, 2020


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This entry was posted in Armenia, Best of 2019, Brussels, Dublin, England, Georgia, Germany, island life, Islands, Istanbul, Scotland and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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