Sunday, April 26, 2009

All Aboard!

Yikes! We're a third of the way into 2009 and I haven't offered up a single entry yet! I'll try to make up for it, starting with this little ramble about one of my life's passions.

Trains. I love trains! I love train travel. Much more than a means to a destination for me, train travel is often, for me, part of the destination itself. When I’m on holidays, I look forward to making an interesting train journey part of my day. Fortunately, I’ve been able to enjoy some super trips over the years. Here are a few of my favourites.

This quick glimpse of one of Germany’s crack ICE trains rushing through Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz station offers a hint of what’s in store if you’re lucky enough to be on board. The Inter-City Expresses connect many of Germany’s cities at speeds that top 200 Km/Hr. If you’re really lucky, you can score a seat in a front car and enjoy the scenery from the driver’s point of view.

The British rail system has struggled
to keep up with the rapid high-speed improvements on the European continent. Well, they simply haven’t for the most part, although you can now zip from St. Pancras in London to Brussels or Paris at 300 Km/Hr aboard the Eurostar. The main lines in Britain, however, connect cities and towns at a somewhat more leisurely pace. Travel in England has its compensations, though – if you travel First Class in the morning, such as on board this shuttle from Birmingham to London Euston, you can enjoy the so-called Great British Breakfast for free. And you know the tea has to be good!

I'm returning to Europe in June 2009 for 3 weeks of trains, beer, walking and good times. My holidays begin with Alpine adventures in Mürren, Switzerland before taking the ICE to Berlin. And a new destination: Prague! I'm looking forward to posting pictures from these two remarkable European capitals. NEXT: More STUFF from Mooncattie!