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Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
Hi all,
I successfully completed a coup this week.
The wife had mentioned a short break in Barcelona (another one on the bucket list) a week or so after returning from Switzerland, so mid/late July ish.
I quickly reminded her of the potential chaos that would be ensuing at the airports in July and suggested going by train , which she was quite up for (y)
So we have consequently booked a 3 night stay. Leaving London on on the morning of 19th July. Eurostar to Paris, then TGV direct Paris to Barcelona, returning on the morning of 22nd July, reversing the journey.
Now, me being me, I will probably start looking for a TGV model to add to my "I've been on that" collection :)
Regards
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Hi all,
Well, Switzerland was fantastic, the scenery was breathtaking at times and the trains, well, what can I say.
Unfortunately, on the day before we returned, I started feeling as though I was coming down with a cold and when we got home I did a Covid test and it came up positive immediately.
As said, it only felt as if I had a cold, but it took 6 days before I got a negative result and then we were off to Barcelona. That was extremely stressful , Eurostar was 20 minuets late, which meant our transfer time between Eurostar and TGV was reduced to 1Hr. That may seem plenty of time to get between the Gare du Nord and the Gare de Lyon, only two stops on the Metro. But when you've never done it before, knowing where to go and how to get tickets isn't the simplest of things, especially when the station staff don't seem particularly helpful.
Anyway, we made it, just, as the TGV was delayed by 20 minuets too. Once on board, first class upper level, the seats were very comfy, and once underway, we made our way to the buffet car only to be told that they had no supplies, no food, no drink.:eek: After the first stop, I noticed a couple of people coming through the carriage with bottles of water, so on going back to the buffet I found they were giving water away free. Whether it was due to being the hottest day on record, I don't know , but at every stop there was at least another ten minuet delay added, resulting in a total delay of 1hr 50 minuets, arriving in Barcelona at 11.20 pm instead of the scheduled 9.30 and we hadn't had anything to eat since a small snack before boarding the Eurostar at 10.45 am, oh, and I had a beer on the Eurostar. Needless to say, we were both starving by this time. I don't normally sing the praises of McDonald's, but I was mightily glad to see they were the only food outlet still open in Barcelona Sants station. After devouring our Big Mac, fries and coffee, McDonald's finally shut up shop a midnight, then we had a short taxi ride to our hotel, we both slept extremely soundly that night.
Barcelona was lovely, lots of sight seeing and shopping for the wife.
Return trip was less troublesome, only a 15 minuet delay on the TGV and a full buffet service, but of course, we had already stocked up with food and drink before boarding , just in case :rolleyes:
On arrival in Paris, we knew the procedure for getting back to the Gare du Nord easily and quickly, only to find Eurostar delayed by 45 minuets :mad:
Needless to say, although it seemed a nice idea at the time, I don't think we'll be doing that again :) Still not completely 100% cold wise, although improving every day, think I just need a good rest.
Anyway, here's a collage of our Switzerland trip. Unfortunately , or fortunately some might say :D, I messed up a lot of the videos, so here's what I've managed to cobble together.

Regards
Alan
 

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"Hi all,
Well, Switzerland was fantastic, the scenery was breathtaking at times and the trains, well, what can I say."

Alan as you say about Switzerland. For me if i was younger i would go and live there
But as we all know nothing is perfect anywhere. The Scenery and the trains will live in my memory forever.
Paris What " sh----t Hole but that is only my Opinion never want to go to France ever again. Thank god i have retired from Flying
Enjoy your well earned Rest.
Babs
 

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Yes me too, sorry I missed the thread earlier, I too have just retired (have you noticed how the worker shortage coincides with the baby boomer retirements (nothing to see here)), that said I am still working so although I had a bout of GBS - very likely due to COVIO this was in 2019 and put me out of action, I have definitely slowed down as a result, I am an independent transport manager and look after 3 small fleets but I like I can walk out whenever it suits me. Only problem right now the bills look more frightening than ever!
So go for it Alan and enjoy yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Hi Kristopher
"So go for it Alan and enjoy yourself."
Hope you have recovered now. Thanks for your comments, I know what you mean about prices everything is going up !!
I'm sure we would have been comfortable in our retirement with the savings and pensions we have accumulated over the years, but with the death of my wife's father in early May last year, she, or the Royal we, as I like to remind her :) , received an extremely large inheritance, and hence we won't have to worry about money for the rest of our lives.
It's a shame you have to loose a loved one to benefit like this, but his timing couldn't have been better. RIP Dave 🙁
Regards
Alan
 

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I really enjoyed that video Alan. It brought back happy memories of camping holidays in the mid noughties.

David
 
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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Hi all,
Unfortunately our upcoming trip to Japan in October has been cancelled by the tour operator due to the surge of Covid cases currently swamping the country :( We have obviously received a full refund but still very disappointed.
On a brighter note, we have just booked this for early May next year


Mountain Plant community Ecoregion Sky Natural landscape


Regards
Alan
 

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Win some, lose some they say.
The 'Emerald Isle Explorer' looks good. There can't be many railtours that cover such a high percentage of a country's rail network.

David
 
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Alan I don't remember if i ever mentioned it have you thought about a railtour to the ( Harz ) in Old Eastern Germany well worth a weeks holiday as well as full on Steam large 2-10-2 's and other such delightful rolling stock.
Babs
 
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