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London to Zurich

Posted on 2011/10/30 11:44:19 (October 2011).

[Monday 17th October 2011]
Today was the first day of my week-or-so "Grand Tour" of Europe, wherein I had ambitiously planned to get all the way to Florence by train, taking in Paris, Zurich and Milan en route. Both Chie and I had been wanting to visit Italy again for a while, and as I had to go to Zurich for a few days this week, and I knew there was a good train service from Zurich to Milan, it seemed like an ideal opportunity.

So I went into work in the morning, and then after a quick lunch headed over to St. Pancras to catch the Eurostar, the first leg of the now familiar train journey from London to Zurich, by way of Paris.

The Eurostar is usually my least favourite part of any European rail adventure - it always feels a bit cramped somehow, so I usually end up sitting on the little fold down chair at the end of the carriage which gives me a lot more space to myself.

On arrival in Paris I had an hour to change trains, and so I made the now almost ritualistic visit to Au Train de Vie, the little train themed cafe conveniently located between Gare du Nord and Gare de l'Est. After a quick restorative pastis there I headed to Gare de l'Est, stopping off en route to buy a very modest sized bottle of Champagne to have on the train, as it passes through the Champagne region - another ritual I've developed on this journey.

The journey from Paris to Zurich was pleasant as always (particularly as I'd made sure to get a first class seat) albeit that I remembered given the time of year it gets dark about an hour into the trip and there really isn't much to see. Must remember to try and travel in the afternoon instead next time.

The train arrives in Zurich at 11, and in what is become another tradition for this trip, between the station and my hotel I popped into a kebab place to get some falafel, for a late night dinner.

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