Last night I got back into the Netherlands, after an 11 hour train journey across seven trains and four countries (long story, had to make a stop in Staines)
Flying is definitely easier and less tiresome but slinging my camera into the hold didn’t seem like an appealing idea.
Anyway, it gave me a chance to do what I enjoy most when coming to the continent – travelling by Eurostar business class.
Normally I travel coach everywhere because, y’know, I’m not made of money, but for £50 extra (£210 instead of £160) you get quite a lot more.
First of all there’s the leg room – I have a tough time in standard class Eurostar. I’m on the tall side of the population and, like planes and buses, the train is a bit of a squeeze sometimes. It really does the knees no favours.
Then there’s the screaming kid factor. In fact, it was completely silent in business.
The free booze in the lounge and on the train didn’t hurt. The on-board freshly-cooked salmon didn’t hurt either.
Plus, the carriage has been practically empty both times I’ve travelled. This time I asked if I could sit on a four seater when I booked. ‘No problem, sir’. So for the entire time I was sprawled out across a large table with mains power supply hacking away on the laptop, listening to my music, chomping salmon and drinking Chardonnay. Nice.
I probably raised an eyebrow or two when I turned up in baggy shirt and jeans though. Oh well. Did I mention the free booze?
You know it’s a classy joint when the graffiti in the toilets is written in Latin.