Lorinda goes to Europe

Staff member: Lorinda // Trip date: Sep 2008


Amsterdam Schipol to Amsterdam Central

I started my trip in Amsterdam. From Amsterdam Schipol station I took the train to Amsterdam Central station. The station was easy to find, as it was attached to the airport on level 1. This was very easy and the train was direct and only took about 15 minutes. I did not use my pass for this and the cost was about €2. The seats were separated between one aisle.

Amsterdam Centraal to Paris Nord

From Amsterdam I took the Thalys service to Paris Nord station. This was an excellent service. I was in first class. The seats were very comfortable, and there was one aisle in between the seating for people to move around the train. The compartment had its own attendant, who was great and ensured that we were attended to at all times. We were served with drinks, morning tea and lunch as well as some snacks. Drinks and snacks were complimentary in first class on this service.

The lunch was quite nice and with a sandwich, some fruit and salad. We were also served beer or wine.

Also on board there was a bar and a restaurant for 2nd class passengers.

Paris to Barcelona

I then took the Elipsos overnight train from Paris to Barcelona. Before we boarded the train we were asked to give our passports to the conductor as we would be passing through the Spanish boarder overnight. I had my own Gran Class Double sleeper. On boarding the train at about 8pm I then went into the restaurant cart for dinner service. The train had 2 sittings. Those who missed out on the first sitting would have to wait until about 10pm for the 2nd sitting. We were served a 3 course meal and it was of excellent standard. For entrée I had bruschetta, Main: Salmon with poached pears and for desert chocolate brownie.

When I returned to my sleeper after the meal service my bed had been turned down for me and even had a chocolate on the pillow. I slept quite well on board this service .The bathroom was also very clean.

In the morning the conductor knocked on my door about 2 hours before we arrived into Barcelona. I had a shower and then headed into the restaurant cart for breakfast service. This was toast, fruit and a croissant and the option for eggs was also available. Tea, coffee and juice were also provided.

Milan to Rome

The next service I took was from Milan to Rome. It was an IC service. I took my pass to the station at Milan and asked for a seat reservation to Rome. I did not realize until later that the attendant has given me a 2nd class seat when I had a 1st class pass. However, this did not bother me and I boarded the train in 2nd class. Someone was already sitting in my seat, so I sat in another seat. Then someone came and told me I was in their seat. So I had to go and tell the person in my seat that they needed to move. The seats in 2nd class were smaller than first class. Again there was one aisle in the compartment. The train was quite full. The conductor came around 10 minutes after we departed and took a day off my pass as I had not taken the day off myself. Luckily I was not fined. There was a restaurant cart and bathroom facilities on board.

Rome to Ancona

From Rome I took the service to Ancona. As I needed to be in Ancona by 10am to take the ferry to Croatia, I boarded a very early train at about 5:30am. This was a regional service. It ran on time, and although it was very slow I did not have any problems with it and it arrived into Ancona on time. The seats were comfortable enough and there was one aisle.

Split to Zagreb

I then took an overnight service from Split via Zagreb to Ljubljana. This was a perfect example of why it can be important to pre book your seats or sleeper reservations. As I just came of the island of Hvar that day I did not have a couchette or sleeper pre-booked and all were fully booked. So I had to sit in a seat instead. The train was completely full, even with some passengers having to stand outside in the corridor as there were no seats left. I was in a smoking cabin for 6 passengers. It was a terrible journey as one passenger smoked the entire journey and we were squashed into the cabin. It was a very uncomfortable and an unpleasant journey. Each compartment was closed off with a door, and there was a corridor outside of each cabin where passengers could pass through.

Zagreb to Ljubljana

I changed services in Zagreb and took a connecting regional service to Ljubljana which was not full at all and this journey was fine. It only took about 1 hour to get from Zagreb to Ljubljana. Similar seating to the night service I had, with each compartment being separated and a corridor running outside the compartments.

Ljubljana to Bled

My next journey was from Ljubljana to Bled. Another regional service.
The train arrives into a station called Lesce Bled. Most passengers then want to go to the town of Bled, which is situated on the beautiful lake. Once arriving into Lesce Bled it is easy to go to Bled town, buses run about 4 times and hour, it only costs €1.30 and takes about 10 minutes.

Again seating was comfortable, and this was a beautiful journey as we traveled through Slovenia. Seating separated by one aisle.

Bled to Salzburg

From Bled I took another regional service to Salzburg. This was a comfortable journey and very beautiful and scenic as we journeyed through the Austrian Alps which were already covered in snow. Again I had my pass and did not need a seat reservation. The train was not too full and each carriage had one aisle.

Salzburg to Munich

Salzburg to Munich was my next train. Again it was a regional service. I arrived in the late afternoon to catch the train, and this was only about a 2 hour journey. The train was not full. This service only took about 1 hour. When I arrived into Munich the train station was in chaos as it was Oktoberfest. This was an easy and pleasant journey and I was quite comfortable. Comforatble seating with one aisle.

Munich to Berlin

Munich to Berlin was an ICE train. I was traveling with a friend who had a 2nd class pass, so I sat in 2nd class with her. Even 2nd class on this service was fantastic. The train also had a restaurant and bar carriage for passengers to use. The seating compartments all had one aisle in 2nd class and 1st class. The bathrooms and toilets were very clean. The service was very fast and efficient and comfortable.

Berlin to Frankfurt

Berlin to Frankfurt was another ICE train and again was fantastic. Same details as stated above for my journey from Munich to Berlin. Both ICE train journeys were quite full.

I did not pre-book any of my seats from Australia. Booking my seats in Europe I paid between €3-5 per seat. As it was not peak season I never had any problems getting seats on the trains, other than my sleeper from Split to Zagreb.

I had a fantastic trip and now feel a lot more confident in my knowledge of the trains within Europe!

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MAP OF JOURNEY
Lorinda goes to Europe map

Photos

Berlin
Berlin

Barcelona
Barcelona

Bled
Bled

Croatia
Croatia

Dam
Dam

Ljubljana
Ljubljana

Munich
Munich

Paris
Paris

Rome
Rome

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