Ilana went with the TGV


ImageAfter so many hours of travel by bus from Berlin to Paris and fast forward to Nantes, I decided that my trip back to Paris should be done differently and preferably in a more comfortable way. I also had some practical reasons to prefer the train ride to the 7-hour long bus ride: I wanted to be in due time in Paris for at least one more hour of long walking while still having enough time to explore what was left from Nantes. Spontaneity might be expensive, especially when it comes to transportation: I paid 60 euro for the second class. In exchange, I had a 3-hour non-stop pleasant trip. Looks like a fair balance, isn’t it? 

But besides the time-wise advantages, there were many other things that I really loved about being on the TGV. Everything is clean and designed in a modern way. There is air condition and except the price, I did not see too many differences with the first class – maybe the colour of the chairs and the quality of the chair materials. There was a small restaurant at the end of the train serving breakfast too, but for the afternoon one is left with biscuits and coffee. The restrooms are clean and well kept. 

When moving up and down to do a basic documentation for my article, I encountered the diversity of the passengers heading to Paris: from busy businessmen preparing the last details of a presentation or business meeting, to teenagers enjoying the vacation and students looking to find a place where to spend the nigh before the next trip. There is enough place to share a table with other three passengers, where to set up your laptop or your books. Some tables had a cute pinky chess design. 

Compared with my other European train experiences in Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland and Sweden among others, I found the TGV the most intimate and friendly. It seems that during the 3 hours or so of the trip you can rarely have some reasons to be bothered, by the other passengers or the people checking the tickets or about the level of cleanliness of the windows. Somehow, these three hours gave me the full energy to go successfully through another 15 hours of bus ride from Paris to Berlin.  

Now, I can’t wait not only to be back in France any time soon, but most specifically, to have at least another pleasant TGV trip.