Training through Europe

December 28, 2009

Been spending a lot of time looking at train options for our trip.

We have 3 main train components in our plans. The first is from London to Paris. Second is Paris to Berne and lastly the train journeys through Switzerland.

The rail networks throughout Europe are quite extensive [for example, here is Switzerland’s] and very well run and maintained. They also compare very favourably to air travel. A vast difference to the Australian rail network which is abysmal by comparison. Once you start looking at train options, there is a wealth of information of varying usefulness out there. Many sites are just fronts for travel agents or ticket agencies and don’t give to a lot of pricing information unless you go through their booking process.

The official rail websites for France and Switzerland [www.sbb.ch] on the other hand were very useful for getting timetable and ticket price information. The Swiss one in particular was extremely good. Give it your starting point and your destination and it will tell you all the connecting journeys required as well as produce a map of your journey. Very useful but a little dry on useful details on the best options.

By far the best site I found was an independent site called The Man in Seat 61 [www.seat61.com]. Started as a hobby this site is amazingly full of detail. He discusses the best options for travelling by train, including when and how to buy your tickets, details of what you will see on each train journey, photos of the trains, inside the trains and the stations, when and where to change trains, whether to get a rail pass or not, seat maps on some services and details of the food and other services available. Full of links to the various official train sites and ticketing agents. I used this site extensively to get up to speed with the options available to us and recommend it as a first point to visit for anything to do with train travel in Europe.


Itinerary Version 5

December 27, 2009

Some more tweaks to our itinerary. We have added an extra day in London and we have decided to stay in Paris for a week rather than just 3 days. The plan is to do day tours from Paris to other parts of France rather than try and move around too much.

Itinerary v5

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Apr 11 Apr 12 Apr 13 Apr 14 Apr 15 Apr 16 Apr 17
Sydney Fly Fly/ Dublin Dublin Wicklow Area
Apr 18 Apr 19 Apr 20 Apr 21 Apr 22 Apr 23 Apr 24
Wicklow Area Wicklow Area Wicklow Area Wicklow Area Wicklow Area Wicklow Area Cork Area
Apr 25 Apr 26 Apr 27 Apr 28 Apr 29 Apr 30 May 01
Cork Area Cork Area Cork Area Cork Area Cork Area Cork Area Galway Area
May 02 May 03 May 04 May 05 May 06 May 07 May 08
Galway Area Galway Area Galway Area Galway Area Galway Area Galway Area Northern Ireland
May 09 May 10 May 11 May 12 May 13 May 14 May 15
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Dublin
May 16 May 17 May 18 May 19 May 20 May 21 May 22
Dublin Ferry/
Train/ London
London London London London Train/ Paris
May 23 May 24 May 25 May 26 May 27 May 28 May 29
Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Paris Train/ Bern
May 30 May 31 Jun 01 Jun 02 Jun 03 Jun 04 Jun 05
Bern Train/ Wengen Wengen Train/ Zermatt Zermatt Train/ Luzern Luzern
Jun 06 Jun 07 Jun 08 Jun 09 Jun 10 Jun 11 Jun 12
Train/ Zurich Zurich Zurich Fly/ Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong Fly
Jun 13 Jun 14 Jun 15 Jun 16 Jun 17 Jun 18 Jun 19
Sydney