Archive for July 16, 2008

Trains and Boats and Planes

by Loraine Ritchey


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

The times aren’t bad either from London to Paris –

London to Paris takes as little as 2 hours 15 minutes

Paris to Strasbourg 30 minute pre check in time

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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July 2008