Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thalys, high speed and high comfort

Last week, I travelled to Dusseldorf on Thalys. For the uninitiated, Thalys is the high-speed train running between France, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands etc. It does not have an extensive network. Instead, the point is to connect some of the major cities cutting down the travel time to minimum.

I am not into trains. I like buses more. So when a friend narrated the experience of traveling on Thalys from Amsterdam to Paris in 2005, I wasn't interested. All this changed when I took TGV to Rennes from Paris. I had a business meeting in Rennes. But I was back in Paris on time for my dinner; tired, yes but no more tired than any other commuting day.

As a result, the speed was not a surprise while traveling in Thalys. I have taken it for granted by then. It is the comfort which impressed me. The availability of internet and a moderately stocked bar which won me over. If you are a first-timer, then you can gaze outside the glass door and wonder at the speed the train passes the nearby objects. When there is no more awe left in you, then there is internet and the bar.

I was with friends for my onward journey to Dusseldorf which means we did all three of the items; gazed outside, browsed the net and check out the bar. When I returned to Paris from Amsterdam, I was alone. It was much less fun than the onward journey where internet was my only relief.

If you are wondering how I reached Amsterdam from Dusseldorf, it is a long story. Let's save it for another time...




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