The earliest travelers had to walk, maybe run to their destination. No other options existed. We have options now. Here are a few from Popular Mechanics (Tim Newcomb) that I have taken:
The Central-Mid-Levels Escalator, Hong Kong
If this Colossal Hong Kong escalator system didn’t exist, you’d have all sorts of stairs to deal with to climb between the western and central Hong Kong districts. This system of 20 escalators, built in 1993, combines to become the longest outdoor covered escalator in the world, running a total length of 2,624 feet and rising 442 feet in the process. From end to end it’s a ride lasting 20 minutes. That’s a hearty “no thank you” on the stair option.
It would be difficult to enjoy HK without these escalators. We generally took them at least twice daily, in the morning to explore, and in the evening to dine and enjoy the night lights. And what would the high fashion female travelers do in their high heels without the assistance of the escalators on HK’s famous hills?
It takes more than six days to travel the entirety of the Trans-Siberian Railway, so it isn’t so much speed that you’re after here, but endurance. The only overland route crossing the entire country, the main route stretches more than 5,700 miles, crosses eight time zones, covers two continents and hits 87 cities. The broad-gauge trains used on the multiple routes offer three classes of tickets and come equipped with dining and – mostly – full showers.
Actually, it takes eight days to cross from Vladivostok to Moscow. Can you imagine the Russian prisoners and their families WALKING to their prisons back in the day?? Even first class is fairly simple by any standard. The people I met along the way made the trip interesting. Unfortunately, the food has not improved as much as the transport!
London Subway Trains, London
With apologies to Beijing’s subway system, the new cars for the London Tube should become the world’s most impressive when they debut sometime in the 2020s. The next-generation trains designed by Paul Priestman will fill the Piccadilly, Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo & City lines with built-in Wi-Fi, evenly spaced double doors, air-cooling, LED lights that alert riders, and a style that eliminates the infamous gap everybody’s been minding. Also, the new system will one day go driverless, and act as a contiguous tube rather than a series of cars, saving energy and promoting flexibility to meet route demands.
The Brits needed to do something to raise their game. Even BART is better than their current system. And no longer do you need to mind the gap, only in Boston! But much like Europe, it is the best way to get around the city, as well as to and from the airport.
The Airbus 380-800 can put up all kinds of statistics to blow you away. Typically holding 544 passengers, the super jet can go up to a maximum of 853 (that’s a tight seating configuration, mind you. The largest passenger aircraft ever made, the 236-foot-long 380-800 can travel 9,440 miles in one flight. This Airbus employs plenty of advanced aluminum alloys in the wing and fuselage and composite materials throughout the plane to bolster the strength-to-weight ratio, which enables the Airbus to be so proficient at moving large numbers of people or cargo around the world.
This might be the most comfortable plane I have ever taken. I upgraded to Business Class on Singapore Airlines from Frankfurt to NYC round trip. I could have been on the plane for 24 hours without a complaint! I always vote for Singapore as the best, and now include the A380-800 at the top as well!
I am sure each of you have your favorites. Some of you have motor homes and 5th wheels. Some of you, like my brother, and Big Bob have a Harley. Some of you ride a bicycle, like I do. A few of you even have your own airplanes. Which one are you??