Europe South to North

Staff member: Leah // Trip date: Oct 2006

ITALY

Rome Airport - Rome Termini

This was the first train we went on when we arrived. It was really easy as the train station is under the airport. It took us straight to Termini non - stop. It was around 25mins.

Rome - Florence

Well first of all we wanted to change our Seat Reservations to leave Rome a little earlier so we went back to Termini in the morning before our departure and lined up in a huge line for about 20mins to change our ticket. Once we finally got called to the ticket office the man changed our ticket to the earlier time for free which was nice. We boarded the ES train in first class and it was really nice, we had great seats that reclined and it truly was comfortable. A lady brought around drinks and snacks. This train was definitely one of my favorites. Honestly though I would book my Seat Reservations before I left as the line was huge and it wasn't even peak season. Termini is a huge station and can get a little confusing.

Florence - Venice

Again we changed our Seat Reservations at Florence and again there was a huge line. We were not charged to change our Reservations which was great. This train was another ES and was exactly the same as the one from Rome - Florence. This train in first class is really comfortable. This time though we were in a group of four. The bathrooms on the train are fine, they are neat and clean. On this leg we forgot to write the date on our passes and the conductor was not happy. He advised it is very important and usually you would receive a 100 euro fine. He let us off but was not happy.

ITALY/AUSTRIA

Venice - Vienna

We departed from Venice Mestre even though our EC train said from Venice St Lucia we decided to pick the train up at Mestre as that is where we were staying and to get it from St Lucia would have been going backwards. We found our seats and again we were in a group of four. We had window seats which was great. No one came around offering us drinks we just sat there and played UNO, mind you the scenery was amazing. We did stop at one stage while they swapped a train that was only for about 15mins. We then went to get something to eat and the dining car was busy.

VIENNA / CZECH REPUBLIC

Vienna - Prague

We were booked in Second Class for this EC train but as soon as we arrived in Vienna from Venice we went to the ticket office and changed it to first class. The only thing we had to pay for was the upgrade on our point to point from Breclav - Prague. We boarded this train at Sudbahnhoff and we brought our lunch from a bakery before we boarded. Once we boarded we had our own little cabin to ourselves which was great because you could lie down. They were really strict on crossing the border and we had two different police check our passports and then I think two ticket inspectors came around and checked our ptop, passes and seat res. There again was a dinning car and a bar.

SPAIN/PARIS

Barcelona - Paris

Well we departed from Barcelona Franca for the Elipsos and the station was right next to our hotel so that was awesome. The station was amazing it is really pretty and quite modern. The lady who told us where the station was said that it is quite new, it really was the nicest station we had been to. We had to go through security before we could enter the station. There was a lady at our carriage to take us to our cabin. We were traveling in Gran class. The room was fine and so was the bathroom. The dining car was also great; they had quite a big menu. We had an entrée, main and desert plus a bottle of wine. The service was great.

EUROSTAR

PARIS - LONDON

We arrived at Nord and checked straight in. We had to go through security and customs. We were lucky and had an invite to the Business Lounge at Nord. It was nice there were snacks, drinks and internet use available. We also boarded the train through a door out of the lounge which was hassle free. We traveled first class on the Eurostar and it was great. We received lunch which was hot along with drinks etc. The service was great, the ladies were really nice. The trip was so fast it was over before I knew it. After being to Heathrow for the first time I think that the Eurostar would be the easiest and most hassle free way to get to Paris and Brussels. The Eurostar was great.

Hotelink

We used Hotelink to get from our hotel to Heathrow airport. We were told we would be picked up between 8.30am - 9am and I think we were picked up closer to 9am. Our bus was packed to the brim with people. I think I would rather do that then take the train especially for the first time as we had no idea where we were going. It was efficient but took longer than the Heathrow Express or Tube.

Paris Museum

This card was great. We went to the Lourve and it was shut. We had already written the date on the card but the lady at the front of the Lourve said just to change it so we did and it was fine to use the next day. We got straight in, no lining for tickets or anything like that. The Paris Museum Pass is definitely worth it.

Well I think that is about it. I loved every minute of our trip and would do it all over again in a flash. I think taking trains is a great option. All the trains I went on were fine but the ES trains in Italy were especially great!

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