Saturday, September 03, 2022

Train travel - better in Europe

 I'm sure I've mentioned several times that we so enjoy train travel. That's how we got around Italy for the month of May and it's how we got around the UK. Certainly there are some places you can't get to by train - there was a hot springs between Rome and Tuscany where we wanted to stop, but the train was not nearby - but anywhere major was a piece of cake.

Our train travel in the UK was great

When we flew in to Gatwick, we immediately saw a sign for "All train tickets -> this way" We bought our ticket ($22 each) and walked just a hundred yards or so to the platform where our train arrived in just a few minutes and took us straight to Bexhill, our destination. Then it was just a 10 minute walk to the sea and our room.

Train travel in Europe is easy

And it is so comfortable

The USA needs more trains

When we needed to get to JFK from the Jersey shore, we ended up paying $300 for a private driver. We didn't want to take any chances! When we returned we decided to figure out public transit. Seems to me there should be a train from some central NYC location that goes down the Jersey shore to Atlantic city, making stops along the way. That would be perfect, but no such thing exists. Using Google Maps public transit directions, we took an airport people mover train to the subway station, subway to Port Authority bus station. At the ticket counter, we asked for a bus ticket to Barnegat NJ and she directed us to the gate. When we showed our tickets to the bus driver and said we're going to Barnegat, he said these tickets won't get us there. His last stop was Lakewood, then we'd need to change buses, buy a new ticket and continue on. Well, OK, what can we do. Realize that it's about 10pm now (3am UK time) and we just want to sit down. 

When we reached Lakewood bus terminal, I noticed a bus to Atlantic City was just pulling out. Yep, that was the bus we wanted and the next one wouldn't be there for 2 hours or more. Now, it's past midnight. At this point we called an Uber! $60 was worth it to have no more worries and be dropped off right at our door. The driver was delightfully chatty and that last hour sped right on by. 

All totaled we paid a little less than $100 for the trip from JFK to LBI.

Let's try Canada's trains

We're thinking of a trip in 2023 to Vancouver and are looking in to driving to Toronto, then taking the CN train across. Whaddaya think? I've never slept overnight on a train before, sounds like fun.

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