No. 178: Bullet Trains
High-speed trains or TGVs are definitely one of the things I love about France.
With Paris as the main hub for the bullet-train network, it makes it very easy to avoid the highways and the airports when traveling around France or Europe. It also makes it very easy to go, go, go and discover new places. The key of course is planning and booking early, although last minute deals can sometimes be had.
Believe it or not, every day an astonishing 450 trains traveling to 230 destinations crisscross the network traveling as fast as 201 mph (322kph)! Nine hundred kilometers from Paris to Marseille in only three hours is ridiculously fast, and ridiculously pleasant. Barcelona is only six hours away and Zurich just four. Plus, with the added bonus of often arriving right in the heart of a city, it always seems like we have an extra day for holidaymaking rather than traveling. Three-day trips are actually three-day tips. Train travel, j’adore.
Meanwhile back at the homestead, I’ve lost track of the various roadblocks the US Congress has thrown in the way of high-speed travel in America, but I sure wish they’d all just get along and get on board and let us get on board, literally. Imagine traveling the 2,500 miles from LA to NYC in a half a day. One can dream…but right now I’m enjoying the high-speed reality in France.
The public transportation system (train & bus) in France is indeed amazing – I, too, love taking the train – easy & efficient!
SO easy peasy, love public transport in Europe.
I also love travelling by train which is more convenient and easier than flying. I love being able to walk into the train without having to go through security and being able to exit quickly. I hate having to fly though there are places where you can’t go easily (or quickly) by train…(Suzanne
Same with me, Suzanne. Often if I can’t find a way to get there by train, I actually pick a new place to go. We just had another awful EasyJet experience this weekend. To fly was 2 hours, train was 7, but with the hassles, extra costs and time to and from the airports, it would have been better just to hop on an early train…plus I could have gotten some work done.
I love the train so much I’ve considered setting up office there — it’s where I do my best work! You should try the Swiss trains some time for efficiency – and you can even take a train to the ski slopes!
I’m exactly the same way. I get so much done on trains, whether it is reading a book I can’t seem to get to at home, writing or job searching, catching up on handwritten correspondence, trains are my productivity spot. I’m actually thinking of taking a long (not high speed train) to Ireland, just to get my blog caught up, and then of course enjoy the scenery once I’m there.
I love the TGV. You leave Paris and in just an hour you are crossing the Loire and two hours later I’m getting ready to board the bus from La Rochelle station to my dream holiday home. Wonderful!