Our trip to the walled medieval city of Avignon and the French Riviera started early, with an (on time) 08:02 departure from St Pancras. My travelling companion Sam and I were through security in a fraction of the time you would expect at any one of London’s heaving airports!
Milan to Nice
Knowing that the train trip today would be the longest of our trip, we headed to the station a bit early in order to stock up on sandwiches, drinks, magazines and newspapers. We departed Milan shortly after breakfast and soon realised how lucky we were to have a seat reservation as the train was completely full. We anyway headed south west, through the Italian countryside towards the mountains and onwards to the Mediterranean. The views as we travelled along the sea coast were beautiful and we very much enjoyed our day on the train, enjoying our sandwiches and conversation as we headed to Nice.
Upon arrival in Nice, we headed to our hotel. I must admit, Nice was probably our least favourite destination in the trip. We decided to have a relatively quiet night and save our energy for a day trip the next day.
London to Paris
Travelling on the Eurostar for me seemed like a normal thing to do. With business in Brussels, I had long become accustomed to the ease of avoiding air or ferry travel to the Continent. When boarding the Eurostar almost a fortnight ago, I therefore did not expect anything different. How wrong I was. Arriving early on a Saturday morning for our train to Paris, everything seemed to be slightly different than the normal rush to which I am accustomed. Perhaps it was the lack of business travellers, the ability to peruse through magazines and newspapers I would never normally read, the happiness of not wearing a suit or the time I was able to set aside to grab a bite to eat. All I knew was that we were going on holiday and the magic of travelling by train had returned.
The weather in Avignon was almost too nice to leave behind with clear blue skies and a temperature of a very pleasant 30 degrees. I think a lot of my fellow travellers were thinking the same