Did you know that there was a bus that used to run in the 1960s from Kolkata ( then Calcutta) in India to London in England? The double-decker bus was known as Albert and the trips covered by it were called Albert tours. Interestingly, this was the world’s longest bus route and one side travel between London and Kolkata on it would cost £145 ( around ₹13518), which was undoubtedly a whopping amount in those days. Rare pictures of the historical bus are now doing rounds on social media and the netizens are loving them.
The World’s Longest Bus Route From London To Kolkata
According to a report by Central Western Daily, Andy Stewart, a British traveller had bought the bus in 1968 to travel from Sydney to London via India. On October 8, 1968, he had started from Martin Place, Sydney with 13 co-passengers to cover the journey of nearly 16,000 kilometres. He arrived in London after 132 days, on February 17, 1969. The bus used to travel from England to Sydney via Belgium, West Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, West Pakistan, India, Burma, Thailand, Malaya and Singapore. In India, Albert covered Delhi, Agra, Allahabad, Benaras and finally Kolkata.
On that note, Mumbai might get London Eye-like Ferris wheel soon.
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A year-round time table was created from the operation of Albert across Kolkata, London and Sydney. As per reports, the trips numbered 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, ran right to Sydney. The trips with numbers 12 to 15 ran between London and Kolkata.
Albert Tours Were Profoundly Luxurious
While taking a journey on the Albert bus, one could enjoy luxury at its zenith. The lower deck of the bus had a reading and dining lounge and the upper deck had a forward observation lounge. Also, there was a fully equipped kitchen with all the amenities. For parties, there were arrangements of radio and taped music.
Fan heaters inside the bus helped to keep the travellers warm. Apart from these, the interiors had bright curtains and carpets with individual sleeping bunks. With all these luxury arrangements, Albert was aptly like a ‘home away from home’.
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Tourist Spots On The Way Of Albert
While making its way from England to Sydney, Albert passed by breathtaking tourist destinations like the Golden Horn of Istanbul, the Peacock Throne of Delhi, the Taj Mahal of Agra, the Benaras on the Ganges, the Caspian Sea coast, the Blue Danube, the Draconian Pass, the Rhine Valley, the Kyber Pass and Kabul Gorge. Additionally, the package included free shopping days in places like New Delhi, Kabul, Istanbul, Tehran, Vienna, Salzburg and many more. Meanwhile, meet this Kolkata engineer who had left his corporate job to travel for a year.
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Albert had completed about 15 tours between Kolkata and England and four trips between England and Australia until 1976. It had crossed nearly 150 borders without many scrutinies and had earned the tag of a ‘friendly ambassador’ in all the nations it traversed. There are oodles of intriguing stories hidden in the pages of history. Unveiling them one after another will leave us spellbound. On that note, allow us to tell y’all about one of the most haunted places in India, in Pune: