Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Trains and Train Stations of places we've visited in Europe.

Think this is confusing?  Like most things, it's not if you know what to look for.  Ill explain later.    
I met a couple, the other day, who were just starting to plan their first European trip.  They had a bit of reservation, I got excited, remembering our early trips, and now,  knowing what to lies ahead.

One of the first things I remembered were the train stations and train rides.  In Europe you can get anywhere, in a timely fashion by using the train.  We have never rented a car, while there.  Just used their exceptional transportation system of trains and buses, to get around.

So, back in 2003, we had our first train station experience.  Victoria Station, London, England:
It was our very first trip to anywhere in Europe, 2003.  We had jet lag, and Ray got sick and I had a migraine.  We wanted to know how we were going to get around London, and then, how we were going to get to other parts of England.  This was the station we came into from the airport and it was near to our hotel.

I think we just went and walked around, explored, to get the feel, and stood and looked at the train schedules.  As I remember it, the experience was a bit overwhelming and intriguing.  We kept going back.

Luckily, Ray reads a lot of tour books, before we start out on a trip and we knew about the TI booths.  Tourist Information.  Depending on where your are in Europe, these people can be a great help.  (So, don't be concerned about the "depending on where you are".  Sometimes there is still the language barrier that can hinder you communication.  Most people do speak English).

So, we went to the TI booth and started asking questions.  They directed us to the ticket agents who sold us a ticket, and, interrupted  the "Ticket Language".  We were able to get to the correct train, the correct car, and the correct seat.  Seats are assigned, for the most part.

One of our daunting experiences was the number of trains on the large number of tracks, in a large train station.  From what I can tell from my reading, there are 19 platforms, and that's just for the trains.  London Victoria is also a hub for the "Underground" or the "Tube", which is the subway.

Not only are the European train stations a place to get a train ticket, and, meet you train, but, a lot of the bigger stations have, shops, restaurants, coffee places and even grocery stores.  they are a great place to explore and People Watch.

 Label this photo:  "Getting around Victoria Station"

More, next time on other train stations we've vistied.

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