Hyderabad: What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘TRAVEL’? It almost sounds like an unattainable dream now. Ever since the implementation of social distancing, courtesy novel Coronavirus, travelling has become an activity to be cherished from the past.
Going across the nations in a bus without any inhibitions and formalities is just a dream nowadays. In these days of restricted travel, old images of people boarding a bus travelling from London to Kolkata are going viral on the social media. A bus starting from London, going via countries like Belgium, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, then to India and the final destination being Kolkata in India.
Several users on Facebook shared the pictures with a claim “Did you know about a luxury bus service from London to Kolkata which existed till up to 1970s? It started from UK-Belgium-Germany-Austria-Yugoslavia-Bulgaria-Turkey-Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India. It included of travel-food-accommodation-sightseeing. Here are the photos and the itinerary for this wonderful bus service.“
Did you know about the Calcutta London bus service? The bus travelled between the two most important cities in British…
A few even shared with caption “I wish, I could board this bus. Amazed to know the bus service from Calcutta to London in 1950s and 60s. Around 50-day travel via West Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Austria, West Germany, Belgium and England.”
I wish, I could board this bus. Amazed to know the bus service from Calcutta to London in 1950s and 60s. Around 50 day travel via West Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Austria, West Germany, Belgium and England. pic.twitter.com/Ot5fGKhbhI
— Punit Daga, IRS (@PunitDaga15) July 3, 2020
These black and white photos were taken in the 1950s at the Victoria Coach Station, where people were boarding a bus named ‘Albert’.
The claim made is TRUE.
When we searched the images with Google Reverse image search, we found several websites confirming that there indeed was a bus service from London to Kolkata run by Albert Tours.
We found Shutterstock images and also Getty images relating to ‘London to Calcutta bus trip 1957 stock photos’.
We also found a blogspot highroadforoz, where pictures from the trip in 1968 of Albert Bus, from Sydney to London via Calcutta. In 1968, a Sydney double-decker bus set off for England overland. A few months later it made a return trip. And another. Then 13 trips from London to Calcutta and back. 35 years later, it’s time to return to Sydney and well-earned retirement. YOU CAN BE A PART OF THIS BIG ADVENTURE!
The journey to Kolkata took five days and its single fare was 85 pounds which convert to Rs. 8000. That is quite an amount especially back in those days! Albert’s first run started on April 15, 1957. They reached Calcutta on June 5.
This bus trip seems to have extended to Sydney in 1968. According to the report of Hooniverse, first bus trip started in Sydney on October 8, 1968. The trip to London took 132 days, with Albert finishing its wild route on February 17, 1969.
The image of a brochure displaying the ticket fare, agenda and other details is also being shared virally.
We also found a book by a young traveller Jan Ward named Travellers Wanted…: 1968: Sydney to London in a double-decker bus. The book explains her travel from Sydney to London in 1968. The book is available for sale on Amazon.
Hence, the claim that a bus travelled from London to Kolkata is TRUE.