Train travel to Paris

For ~$600, we bought sleeper train tickets from Munich to Paris. It was a fun way to travel and not too much more than a hotel room plus a flight back to Paris. It was a 10 hour train ride and I was looking forward to seeing some of the German and French countryside. Tickets have to be purchased and reserved pretty well in advance for the sleeper trains. I think we bought these tickets in March or April for our trip in mid-June.

Our train arrived about 30 minutes before the scheduled depature and we jumped on, trying to figure out where our room was, looking at our confusing ticket. Our ticket was for a first class private double sleeper room with a shower.

We wandered into the wrong room and frowned at the lack of shower. The (assistant?) conductor took a look at our ticket and informed us that yes, we were in the wrong room and directed us next door.

In our room, there were two single beds mounted one above the other (with heavy-duty roll bars and seatbelt straps to prevent someone from rolling off — similar to this, but more heavy-duty) and a separate bathroom. The bathroom had a toilet, sink, and space for a shower. The sink and shower used the same sprayer. The sink was on a pole and swiveled over the toilet to allow space to get to the shower — you just had to raise up the sprayer.

The conductor spent a few minutes with us. He informed us that to turn on the water, we had to push the red button and it would turn off automatically. He told us that he would wake us up at 0745 and bring us bags of breakfast, and asked if we would prefer coffee or tea.

“Coffee, please.”

He took away our ticket and said he would return it in the morning.

N thought there was a dining car on the train and went out to find some beer before we took off. No luck — so he quickly ran out to get some beer at a vendor just down the way in the Hauptbahnhof and ran back.

I took a shower shortly after the train pulled away and I had adjusted to the movement. I would push the button and the water would spray for about 45 seconds, then stop (just as the conductor said). I didn’t count, but it took many pushes to get the shampoo out of my hair.

After my shower, I clambered up into the top bunk — it was a little treacherous on a moving train! — and lay down to go to sleep. I was fairly tired and don’t have difficulty sleeping on planes or trains, so I fell asleep quickly.

I woke up when the train stopped at one of the earlier destinations and had some trouble getting back to sleep.

I woke up again when my phone buzzed to tell me that I had crossed into France.

I went back to sleep to snooze until it was daylight because I really wanted to take some photos from the window. When the sun came up, I got up excitedly to try taking some photos. I didn’t have much luck thanks to the speed of the train and the fact that I forgot my polarizing filters so I got reflections in the window.

train

From the train:

train

Like from a movie:

town

At 0745, the assistant conductor came by the room with our bags of breakfast and coffee. I wasn’t expecting much and neither was N. Oh, were we surprised:

train breakfast

Orange juice, yogurt, two rolls, a croissant, butter, honey, meat paste, fruit, creamer, sugar.

I got ham paste! Delicious:

mmm

Even the coffee — though there wasn’t much of it — was good.

train coffee

The train arrived in Paris exactly on schedule at 0923. Amazing! Oddly I found myself really nervous as we pulled into Paris – I hadn’t felt nervous since the trip started.

What do you think?