Train to Paris

At rest at Gare de l’est, after bringing us from Mulhouse.

We were up early again for the 07:41 to Paris. The SNCF website lists only the TGV services from here to Paris, most of which don’t take bikes but the 07:41 is a regional stopping train taking much longer but going all the way to Paris Est. We started diesel powered and changed to electric when we met the overhead cables. Bike spaces can’t be booked, this train took only three but two more joined our two and a fifth at Troyes. No steps or hooks so loading was easy. It was spacious and comfortable with a mix of table seats around a large window and airline seats. No WiFi but otherwise streets ahead of British trains such as the new Transport for Wales class 197 which operate similar distances with many stops. The TER network is heavily subsidised, 72% funded by the state, good public transport needs serious investment which it doesn’t get in Britain.

The windows allowed us to enjoy the view, the train wasn’t especially slow but there were many stops. At the terminus we negotiated our way through the chaotic traffic, it got easier as we neared our destination, an Airbnb apartment. Paris is ridiculously expensive, budget hotels start at £250 per night, the Airbnb was £200 per night but we needed to see Christine’s aunt Pat.

We showered and then shopped at the nearby Carrefour City so we could cook for ourselves, then made the 25 minute walk to Pat’s flat for a catch up.

A day in Paris