Every day hundreds of people travel from one place to another. They travel to work, to school, or on business. Many people travel for pleasure and travelling has recently become one of the most popular hobbies. Travelling is also an interesting way of spending holidays. In every season of the year the airports, railway stations, seaports, and bus stops are full of people travelling for long or short distances.
When people travel a long distance they usually travel by air. Travelling by air is exciting, fast, comfortable, relatively safe but rather expensive. In the 20th century it has become one of the most important means of transportation. Especially during the last twenty years the number of airplanes and frequency of flights have grown enourmously. In such countries as the U.S.A., where the people have to travel long distances to get from one place to another, travelling by air has become quite common. It takes nearly six hours by plane to get from the western to the eastern coast of the U.S.A. There are several hundred American airlines, all of them private. They include the most popular and biggest airline companies such as Pan American, Trans World Airlines, Delta and others.
When people choose to travel by plane they usually go or telephone to the airlines or travel agency to get information about flights as well-as about reservations and cost of air tickets. It is also usual to confirm the flight at least a week before travelling.
At the airport the passengers travelling with international or intercontinental airlines have to show their flight tickets and passports. An official weighs their luggage as each passenger can take only 20 kg of luggage free of charge. The passengers must also go through the customs. For air traffic safety both people and luggage have to be checked and metal objects have to be detected. Then the passengers can go to the waiting room. When the aircraft is prepared for flight the announcer calls passengers to get ready and board the plane. In the plane the stewardess shows them their seats.
Before the aircraft moves the notices flash up - "Fasten Your Safety Belts" and "No Smoking". On the runway the aircrew make the last checks and when they get permission from the control tower for the flight the aircraft takes off. During the flight the stewardess offers the passengers some meals, refreshments, drinks, cigarettes and sweets. The passengers can also read magazines supplied on board or just sleep. From time to time they can hear information about altitute, speed and approximate location of the plane. Before landing there are again "No Smoking" and "Fasten Your Safety Belts" notices flashed on. Soon the airport lights can be seen as the plane descends and finally lands on the ground. The passengers disembark and go to the hall where they wait for their luggage. After showing the passports and visas to immigration officer and going through the customs check they are free to enjoy the country where they have landed.
Travelling by train is the most common form of travelling. In our country trains are used daily by many people to and from work or school. They are cheap/ less polluting, safe but not very clean and comfortable. This refers especially to slow trains which stop at every station. It can also be an advantage as the people have enough time to enjoy countryside. Fast trains and through trains are more comfortable for longer distances. They do not stop at every station. There are also a sleeping car and the dining car in fast trains which make the travelling by train more pleasant, Our railway system urgently needs reorganizing and modernizing as it-is one of the most neglected and old-fashioned ones in all Europe. Speaking about the train travel in Europe we should not forget to mention the building of the Channel Tunnel which will soon be open. It will effectend the British railway system to the continental one. Direct trains will link England with other European cities within 8 to 15 hours. In the past the train travel was a very popular way of travelling all over the world but in the last decades it has been replaced by other forms such as travelling by planes, coaches and cars.
Coaches are buses for long distance travelling. They are fast, comfortable and the prices of tickets are quite resonable. In our country many people prefer coaches to trains. During holidays the travel agencies offer many coach trips to the mountains or seaside resorts. There are regular coach lines connecting the capital of our country with most of European cities.
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