This morning I’m taking the train East, to Germany. Including an 8 hour haul from Edmonton to Vancouver through the Rockies, this is the second time in my life I’ve travelled by train. This trip takes about 1/3 the time though, thanks to the high speed TGV line that runs through Western Europe.
In the few minutes that I’ve been on the train, I’ve been convinced that this is vastly superior to air travel. There is no line to pass security, no border authentication, and no wait to get on board. I showed up 25 minutes before departure and the guy at the gate told me I was here too early and that I should take a coffee and come back in 10. Awesome. That said, the train left very promptly at 6:58 as the ticket noted, so I don’t think I’d push my luck.
The seats are huge and get comfier by ticket price. The lowest class seats are slightly more spaced out than a Greyhound. As you move up in category you get desks, tables or even a private room (which seems to be reserved for Children to yell in and has been, blissfully, sound proofed).
The scenery on this trip is a refreshing change from the grey, grey and grey that I’m used to looking at in paris. Mostly it’s grassy hills but there’s also a lot of trees and huge fields of yellow, flowering plants (does anyone know what this might be?). It reminds me an awful lot of Rural Ontario.
Wherever I just passed is a tiny town of maybe 100 single story houses with brick or thatched roofs. A river, (which is really just a creek with high aspirations) runs through the centre of town, dividing rolling fields of golden flowers on the West bank from grassy pastures dotted with hungry cows and sheep on the Eastern side. Above the rows of houses stands a single church with a three story steeple, and grassy green hills as far as I can see, to the North.
[Update] I think that we just stopped in the city of Lorraine, which would make sense because I am pretty sure that it’s a primary-agriculture region of eastern France.
I would love to share picture of all of this, but unfortunately the pocket camera I brought with me does not have a 300 km/h mode. Most of the pictures come out as a blurry mess. Sarah and I have talked about taking a trip out this way to Alsace, maybe we will bring the beefier camera then so that we can snap some pics of the scenery.