After a couple of hours walking our lunch off around La Ville Lumière
we headed back to the station for part two of Train Day.
There are five different ways to travel on the Thello; we looked at them all, took into consideration other traveller’s stories, and opted for what equated to Fourth Class.
Paris to Venice on a sleeper train with our five favourite people in the world: what better way to start our thirtieth wedding anniversary?!
Now, we hasten to add that this train is ear-marked to receive a massive makeover in the very near future. We also add that it’s back-to-basics amenities at our time of travel have provided us with so many story-telling points,and we would not have had it any other way.
Our guard was attentive to the point of motherliness: You go in here, you stay in here, you lock here and here, you sleep, you toilet at least two with one, goodnight!
Those on the lower bunks suffered slightly from the smell of the toilets we were next door to and the window flapped violently whenever we passed another train (surprisingly often), but we all slept incredibly well. Some even slept through The Goat Herd directing a gentleman bent on getting into our already crowded compartment to go away (let’s just say she’s not at her best when first woken) and the subsequent roars of our Guard. All okay, my Kiwis? All okay, we reassured him sleepily.
It was a train-ride of opposites; both the friendliest and the unfriendliest, the grubbiest and the cleanest, the hottest and the coldest but it was an experience we are very happy to have added.
Go to sleep in France, open a bleary eye in Switzerland, and wake up in Italy.
The best way to celebrate thirty years with my best friend.
12 thoughts on “Train Day Part Two – Hello from the Thello”
This looks rather fun…even with the drawback of the toilets. Train travel is very expensive in Canada – not at all an efficient mode of travel either in terms of cost or convenience. And yet, it was the prospect of a railroad crossing all the way from East to West of the continent that convinced the various provinces to join together as one country in the late 1800’s. How things change. I’ve done my share of train travel, here in Canada, in the UK, in Europe and even in NZ :). We used the trains in France a fair bit once we were out of Paris, and found them quite efficient, well, not their lost and found department – it has no way of being contacted by the public. Which I suppose is quite efficient from their point of view.
Happy belated 30th!
Eek! Train travel in NZ is ridiculously expensive. Still whenever I see the TransAlpine it is packed to the gunnels (Or the railway equivalent) so it must be working for them.
Love the idea of the French railways Lost and Found…Lost and Thank You😊
Holy cats, what an adventure! And a belated happy anniversary to you two. Train travel is not horribly expensive here in the U.S.but the service is extremely limited. It is my hope that some day we will come to our senses and embrace train travel so that it is available in most places and inexpensive. So much better than carbon-belching cars.
Thanks Laurie. It is odd to me that a country that has such a history tied up in the railway has now shunned it. I guess cars are just that much more reliable and easy. One of our dreams is to see your country by train.
If ever you do, please come as far as Portland, Maine! We would love to meet you.
You are so brave, what an adventure though.
Brave or foolhardy; it’s a fine line
I love sleeper trains! I really do! The noise, the smells, the discomfort, the excitement of it all! Sadly, most sleepers are disappearing because the trains are so fast and efficient now. In my youth I regularly travelled on the Paris to Munich sleeper and my friend and I were awoken one morning at 5.30 by our couchette companions munching through a quantity of very smelly sausages! Ah! Memories, memories!
It was a wonderful adventure!
Let the train take the strain. That was a slogan here some years ago. It isn’t supposed to increase the strain. Well done.
Not something I would want to do on a regular basis but great fun for a one-off adventure
Hi, Highlights from your great train travel day/night – ‘Le Wifi’, travelling at over 300km per hour, Farm Girl’s look of glee with her chocolate dessert, ‘All okay, my Kiwis’? and crossing four countries in 24 hours. I am looking forward to your adventures in Italy. Finally, I have no idea how you kept up the pace during all those weeks on your Grand Tour.