Put on a coat (and long johns, a scarf, two socks and a hat) and bear the cold to try out these adventures. Don't worry - it's (mostly) heated!
“There are other memories, not only flowers from the fire but little sprouts that suddenly appear when I go on trains,” wrote poet, and avid train lover, Pablo Neruda. In Temuco, Chile, the National Railway Museum was built in his honor and is laced with his poetry, as his train travels were often the windows for his words. I had imagined the five-hour O-Trainto be quiet and pensive like my muse for this trip—the Bergen Railway. Instead, it turned out to be filled with a bipolar pop music playlist and cheery train attendants who also doubled as the hosts of a game show aired throughout the train. Rain and fallen branches on the tracks meant a two-hour delay in Buncheon, where we were scheduled to transfer from the O-Train to the V-Train. To kill time, we bought fresh dongdongju and apples from the 55-year old convenience store named Hwang-su Super, until cheering from hiking-gear dressed ajummas and ajusshis signaled the V-Train’s departure. The V-Train, only an hour long, served as the highlight of the trip, where we rode with the windows down as it wove in and out of tunnels built into the soft mountain hills, wet with raindrops and trickling valley rivers. Though supposedly most beautiful in winter, the occasional white flowering perennials speckled like snow showcased the mountain’s appeal even off-season. Once in Cheoram, we walked around the Coal Mine History Town—a preserved collection of buildings from the ‘40s to the ‘60s made even more realistic by the gray weather.