I had to return a car to Bordeaux today, unfortunately it was a rush job for me to catch a train to Angouleme, so instead of pictures about this fascinating capital of wine, all you get today is images of the train station. Which in itself is exciting.
I purchased my first Interrail ticket (travel across Europe) at the age of 16 and did buy two more later on. The first ticket was 60.00 USD for 30 days of unlimited train travelling across Europe.
The running joke in my family was that I must have seen all the train stations but not much more....
Train travel over here is extremely convenient compared to the new continent. Most stations are located inside the center of cities, many of them have more than one station. Another key of public transportation is the functionality of infrastructure that supports the traveler on his journey.
In Calgary you can actually get fined for eating on the C-Train (I think it happened to Lauren), over here, the food options in and around stations are endless. Hotels of all price levels, rental car offices, anything you need really to make the trip a success.
Bordeaux is no exception. The biggest station in SW France, you can take the TGV to all other areas of France and beyond. Regional trains' timetables are coordinated for making your journey to the tiny village as short as possible.
TGV, the great pride of French government owned businesses, is a network of high speed trains that can whisk you from Bordeaux to Paris in 3 1/2 hours. compare that to a six hour trip with the car at a higher stress level and needless to say, higher cost.
SNCF, the railway company that runs the network, a few years back has adopted a pricing strategy similar to that of airlines. Book early or off peak travel times and get discounts compared to the schmuck (me), who just walks up to the counter an hour before the train leaves. Big discounts I need to add.
Though I looked at their website, I felt not that eager to book a ticket, just in case something goes wrong with the car or such.
Yeah, we know where this is going. Let me elaborate. The lady next to me traveled from Bordeaux to Lille, a city hard on the border to Belgium. 800km by train, versus my puny 120km to Angouleme. I glimpsed at her ticket and was sure there had to be a 1 in front of the 22 Hidden by the netting where the ticket was sitting.
Politely I started a conversation about that cold weather in France, with the sole plan to get a proper look at her ticket.....Yep. She paid 22.00 Euros for her trip. I paid 25.00.
I was slightly upset to be honest. Was she a government employee? She did not look old enough for a seniors discount, what's the deal.
Well,she booked two month ahead of time, in the middle of the night, when prices change by the hour she proudly told me. Or was she smug about it.
So. Expect a post about Bordeaux in about two month time. I am booking me some of those low price tickets for the whole family....and bring the dog.
ST. JEAN STATION, BORDEAUX
I ENJOY TRAIN STATIONS
A CERTAIN POLICE PRESENCE
GREAT MURAL OF SOUTHERN FRANCE (CLICK ON IT)
A MEMORIAL FOR THE FALLEN
AND THE MASACARED
VERY GOOD FOOD OPTIONS
CLASSIC WAITING ROOM
THAT'S A LOT OF TOILET PAPER
AS ALWAYS, DOGS ARE WELCOME
EXCELLENT INFRASTRUCTURE TO GET YOU FURTHER
FUNKY HOTEL ACROSS THE STREET
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? LILLE IS 5 TIMES AS FAR AS ANGOULEME