I want to recognize the brilliant idea of train journeys to our summer vacation in Italy, but it was my wife who came up with the idea. Our two best holidays were by family agreement by either overnight trains (Moscow to St Petersburg and back) or cycling (riding the Danube), and they found ways of bringing both together.
For the journey through Italy, the travel company (Flexitreks) would supply bicycles and carry our bags into the hotel every night, but from the beginning and finish of the route, we had to make our way. The simplest way to do so was to fly to Verona, but traveling by train from London was somewhat cheaper–and entirely magical.
I’d like to know about it if there is a better way to leave the country than via St Pancras rail. It still seems like a novelty, with its Gothic brickworks, public pianos, bookshops, and sky-blue vaulted iron ceilings, 12 years after it was opened as the London terminus for the Eurostar. We got on the train around midday, while, parallel to the facts, another version of me had stuck on the aisle of a plane and wanted him to stumble down for fast boarding so that he had to keep his still beltless trousers away from Hobbesian struggle for space in an overhead locker.
We took a red and white Thello overnight train in Venice at 7 pm. It is a no-frills sleeper, not a historical experience for people wanting to return to the golden age of rail travel, which is reflected in the price. In the summer, every adult from Paris to Verona has been paying € 150 one-way, and every child a € 100 one-way.
They ordered bedding, blankets, water and snacks for us and a four-berth sofa bed. At each end of the carriage, there were loosening and washrooms. One of the washrooms was running out of the water, but we were told and purchased additional water in Paris. On the way back, it wasn’t a problem. More expensive berths come with sinks of their own.