I purchased our last train ticket today. It feels great to have this all done. We will be on a total of six trains through out our trip. Two will be in the US to get to and from Newark where we connect with our international flight. The other four are in Europe.
Two of our tickets are for second class trains and two are for first class trains. In Europe they sometimes refer to second class as Comfort Two and they sometimes refer to first class as Comfort One.
We are in second class from Berlin to Munich on the City Night Line. Second class still gets you a sleeper with duvets on the bed. The only thing is doesn’t get you is a private toilet and shower but since we will primarily be sleeping we won’t need that much either. I think our sleeper is right next to the WC. I am not sure if that is a good thing or not…
We have first class reservations from Dusseldorf to Rotterdam. I also have a private compartment reserved for this trip. Our friend Angie will be on this train with us. This is an ICE train that has the capability to move 300 kph. You can actually watch the train driver steer the train in first class. To upgrade all five of us to first class cost an additional $88. I think second class would have been fine for all of us, but since we are on vacation and traveling with our friend I figured why not splurge a little bit. How often do you have the chance to see the driver steer the train? One benefit of first class on an ICE train is you can place an order from the cafe car with an attendant and they will bring it to you in your car. So once we board we can sit back, relax, and enjoy the company of each other.
Our third train ride is in second class between Rotterdam and Paris. This is on a Thalys train. These are also high speed trains. For this train we have seats that are in an aisle/window and aisle/window configuration. The seats do not recline, there are supposedly electrical outlets in each seat, but there is no free wifi. This ride is about two hours and forty minutes. If we were driving it would take us four hours and fifty minutes.
Our final train in Europe is in first class. I kept going back-and-forth on this one. I finally decided to go with first class. First, it is a longer train ride – almost four hours. Second, we will be traveling at the end of the day. We board the train around six PM after a full day of sightseeing in Paris. Everyone should be tired. These seats lean forward so you can recline and they have a footrest (I think, not sure though). Additionally first class gets you free wifi on the train – but you need to register beforehand. You also get a meal and drinks served at your seat. The cost of this is included in the ticket. Granted I probably won’t like what is served food wise but I guarantee you I will want a glass or two of wine. And I know my husband will enjoy a nice dinner. For this train our seats are centered around a table. This will be nice for the kids as if they are not tired they can draw on the table. This will also be the last thing we do in Europe – we head home the very next day. Hopefully it will leave fond memories with us.
I am very excited about all of our train travels. I think this is because the love of traveling on a train is in my blood. My grandfather used to love trains and I think his dad used to work with trains. If my grandfather was still alive today he would love to hear about all of these trains that we are taking. I know he will be with us in spirit.