|Subject: Re: Train Tickets in Europe|
Hi everyone... I am new to TheTravelzine... but wanted to share our
experiences and recommendations from our summer trip to France, Spain
and Italy travelling exclusively by train and carrying only backpacks!
We bought our Eurail Selectpasses and backpacks through Rick Steves' website (http://www.ricksteves.com) -- great deal because you can get one of Rick's travel guides free with every rail pass ordered. Rick's staff is extremely knowledgeable and helpful as well.
We planned our itinerary using the Deutsche Bahn AG website (http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en). We had a friend in Monpellier, France make reservations only for the travel in the early part of our trip (from CDG to Montpellier, Montpellier to Barcelona, Barcelona to Montpellier, Montpellier to Pisa) and the travel office mailed them to us in the US. Reservations for travel in France are very inexpensive (a dollar or 2 per ticket per reservation). Reservations for travel in Spain were ridiculously overpriced -- but necessary due to the time of year we were travelling. We did not have reservations for Pisa to Rome and ended up sitting on the little fold down seats in the hallway from Pisa to Rome... good thing the trip wasn't any longer!! Once we reached the Rome Termini station, we made reservations for Rome to Venice and the overnight train from Venice to Paris. Reservation costs in Italy were not that expensive either -- except for the overnight train which we paid extra for couchettes. My caution here being that if you want to take an overnight train -- that might be one reservation you should make BEFORE leaving the US. The couchettes were not very comfortable and the window in our compartment wouldn't close making for a very cold night! We would have preferred a sleeper car but they were all booked.
Overall, we (my teenage son, husband and I) felt that train travel in Europe was an awesome experience... and we can't wait to do it again!
Shellee in (cold!) Western NY