Which would I go by on a 500-mile journey? Train. Trains are usually cheaper than flying, there’s more leg room and generally more space, they’re usually cleaner (at least than the car I use!), they’re more smooth and comfortable and, well, there’s not much point in flying 500 miles unless you really need to get there fast. (I know I sound like a greenie here, but the environmental damage from short flights is clearly something that’s avoidable.)
Of course, if the journey was much longer, I would take a plane. Planes are much more exciting – I still love looking out the window at takeoff – and on longer journeys they offer inflight entertainment, which is usually enough to keep me occupied. And obviously they’re much, much quicker.
As a general point, I’ve never understood why people often drive short or long distances when going by train can save a lot of time, hassle with traffic and even money, what with the price of petrol continually going up here in Britain and I presume elsewhere too.
I am slightly more sympathetic to long car journeys over long train journeys, because it’s nice to be able to stop and stretch your legs at places where you want to stop on your own terms. Personally though I don’t yet hold a driving license so it’s not up to me at the moment.
Another form of transport I really like is the ferry. Personally I’ve never been on a 500-mile trip so I’m not sure about that, but I’ve always liked the space, facilities, comfort, views and ability to go outside on deck – still I guess those who get travel-sick will disagree.
My worst mode of transport is the bus. I don’t mind buses, but they’re often more uncomfortable than cars and you don’t get the benefit of less traffic (but of course you would if more people used them). Short bus journeys are ok, but I would not go on a five-hundred-mile bus journey.
Anyway in my opinion, trains are the best way to go, especially Swiss trains surrounded by the Alps (though the picture above is actually from Norway 😉 ).