Archive for July 16, 2008

Trains and Boats and Planes


by Loraine Ritchey thatwb@yahoo.com

TRAINS AND BOATS AND PLANES

I have fingers crossed and holding my breath that “my birthday, anniversary,retirement” trip will come off and that all will be well when it comes to “Plan-it Ritchey” and they will be taking ME away.

Trying to get the “dates right with the tickets and rooms available” has been a bit of a job. I know I am probably responsible for at least one travel agent looking for another career choice.

I finally managed to get the “Rhine” cruise done and dusted, now the tricky bit getting from London to Cochem, Germany. I didn’t want to take the time driving or the amount of money it was going to cost for extra car rentals ( the add ons for an automatic- VAT) and OH! those petrol ( gas) prices. The cost, after allowing for the imperial gallon , is hovering around 10 dollars a gallon and my dollar isn’t going very far at all this trip. It will cost 2 dollars approximately for every pound sterling I spend. Then there is the extra insurance and the rules and regulations of different EU countries.

France fines motorists without yellow vests

“Allo, Allo: Drivers greeted by the French police and not carrying a yellow vest will be fined £100″

How about a “plane”

I can fly from the heart of London ( London City Aiport) direct to Strasbourg, France, where we can pick up the shuttle to Cochem for around $400 per person return ( pond life class) Time 1. hour and 40 minutes coupled with the 1:30 pre check in time and the wait at baggage claim . But then you have to get to the airport by either taxi or train and then from the airport to the city , arriving early enough to go through all the rigmarole of flying today and fingers crossed that the planes are on time and haven’t been cancelled…… did I want to take the chance of missing the boat?

So after much deliberation I decided let us go by train, in fact let us go under the channel instead of on it or over it-

London to Paris on the Euro Star

and then from Paris to Strasbourg on the worlds fastest train
Train à Grande Vitesse
image source
for around $300 per person ( with incentives) ( 1st class) -OOOOOO I like the sound of that, I can pack a suitcase that will actually contain more than the bare necessities, get up and walk around and sit in comfortable seats( that recline – yes really recline) for a change be wined and dined

In 1st class (both Business Premier & Leisure Select) the fare includes an excellent hot 3-course meal and complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, all served at your seat. All passengers have access to two bar cars, located in cars 6 & 13, serving tea, coffee, hot chocolate, beer, wine, spirits, sandwiches, crisps and a few hot snacks

Eurostar
The times aren’t bad either from London to Paris –
http://www.seat61.com/London-Paris-train.htm

London to Paris takes as little as 2 hours 15 minutes

Paris to Strasbourg 30 minute pre check in time
http://travel.latimes.com/articles/la-trw-francetrain8jun08

The new TGV service will cut the train journey between Paris and this Alsatian city in eastern France by nearly half — to two hours and 20 minutes.

Trains on the new 252-mile line reaching Strasbourg via Reims, Metz and Nancy are expected to travel at speeds of up to 199 mph, compared with a maximum of 186 mph for current TGV trains.

It might take a little longer but I am hoping the journey will be less stressful – “Gullible’s Travels”

and it seems the EU plans for more trains- Can the USA be so far behind?????

The EU has earmarked $27.5 billion to finance trans-European rail networks, much of it to five priority transcontinental links that are due to be completed by 2015.

and Eurostar is also carbon neutral

We will see and since I don’t want to be rushed we will stay overnight in Strasbourg- Hotels in Europe can be a bit confusing as well
more on that in another post!

July 16, 2008 at 11:31 am 10 comments


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