Monday, 24 February 2020

The Venice Sleeper



The Welsh rail system is abysml
The rolling stock is outdated and feels dirty and unloved and carriages can be cramped and uncomfortable.
Im on the 14.20 to Manchester and already there is no wifi and I am unable to buy a coffee with my debit card
The train is the sort you  have to open the windows to gain access to the door handle and the guard although English is giving his announcements in a sort of strangled Welsh first.

My spoken welsh is almost  as good.
But at least he's giving it a try.

Not very romantic
Not very mysterious

I feel as though im travelling in 1978.

I'm planning a holiday of sorts in my head. It will have to be funded by overtime and from a jar in the living room cupboard where ive placed money made from the selling of unwanted items on ebay

Im going to venice on tbe train
Apparantly there is a sleeper train from Paris. A friend of mine catches it every year and his stories of waking up in the centre of the city after a night lulled by the thump-thump of the train wheels is the stuff of Agatha Christie

Lets hope the venice sleeper is better than transport for wales eh

74 comments:

  1. Sounds like it will be a true adventure! And dare I say- possibly romantic?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
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  2. Sounds like it could be a wonderful adventure :-)

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. Barbara Anne3:38 pm

    How marvelous! It's the stuff of The Orient Express, Agatha Christie-wise or not. Blissful sigh.

    Enjoy the planning while you wait.

    Hugs!

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  5. You better not be going soon, isn't it Venice thats on lockdown for the Corona virus? In fact from what our news said yesterday I think the whole of Italy is shut just now!! It certainly looks beautiful so if and when you go the photos will be great to see! x

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  6. I've been on TFW and Arriva Trains wales, never any wfi or even anywhere that works to charge your phone! Ithink there are new people going between Holyhead and Birmingham now, lets hope they improve things. Iwould love to go to Venice on the train.

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  7. The Venice Sleeper sounds very romantic. I do hope you go, and share the experience here with us x

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  8. Fantastic John ..... the first time I saw Venice we arrived by train ..... couldn’t see anything until we walked out of the station doors and there it was in all its amazing glory ..... I actually had my mouth open for at least a minute !!! I shall never forget that moment. XXXX

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  9. Venice was my second-favorite city in Italy. We were there twice when we lived in Germany (my youngest and I), and if one stays away from Piazza San Marco and the like and explore the less touristy sections, it's a wonderful place. We stayed on Lido Is., just about a mile away and a 10 minute cheap water bus ride, a great B&B, and far less touristy, at least in the off-season. Great food too.

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  10. Go on that holiday if you have to spend your very last money in the whole of your jam jars or whatever John. Venice, my favourite place in the whole world. I have spend many happy holidays there over the years and I never tire of it. It is unique. Now the nearest I get is to look at the Canalettos in The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle - but I can dream and feast on it through your eyes when you return.

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  11. If that is a photo of a crappy Welsh train I think it looks good.

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  12. For several years I caught the sleeper train from Paris to Marseille, it was wonderful waking in the morning to blue skies and the Mediterranean. It wasnt luxurious but it was comfortably but i expect SNCF have improved the coaches after all this time .

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  13. countrygal4:34 pm

    Venice is wonderful - so beautiful (don't forget to bring back some gorgeous Venetian glass). I am attempting to learn Welsh and it is not an easy language to understand but well worth the effort.

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  14. sounds exciting! happy planning!

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  15. If that picture is your idea of a "crappy" train - you've obviously never seen a Chicago city bus! As for Venice - I'd ride a garbage truck if it would take me to Venice!

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  16. Travel on local transit is never ideal except that it is better than driving in backed-up traffic. I would imagine that the upscale tourist train will be a much better and lovely experience. I did a long train ride years ago through many states and had a great time. I wish, though, that I had flown home.

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  17. Anonymous5:34 pm

    That looks luxurious after spending 5 hours on a Greek train from Meteora to Athens yesterday!. No wifi, no tables at all even pull down. Toilet was a hole on the ground with markers where to put your feet. No sockets or charging points. Whole train covered in grafitti. Seats all stained. Guy came on with 3 baby goats, another had chickens!. Was entertaining. Seat numbers not in any particular order ie 20 next to 45. Ally.

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  18. Sod the Venetian romanticism.....I want details of the Manchester rendezvous.

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    Replies
    1. You would..

      And it was very nice thank you for asking x

      Delete
    2. That's not enough detail for me to "get off on" 😂

      Delete
    3. Do you think we could just have a little snippet if at all possible John?x

      Delete
    4. It's good to know there's another pervert who hangs on your every drip 😁

      Delete
    5. Ooo luverly Mavis-at last I've shaken off the miss goody 2 shoes image- perhaps I am a hussy too x

      Delete
    6. Unfortunately to be a hussy you have to be getting some, so you may be the only hussy here (besides John 😂)

      Delete
    7. Thank you for clarifying that Mavis and so-I'm very happy to say I'm a reborn virgin-if that's not too much information x

      Delete
    8. I had a lovely time and bought several books ( one about Venice ) and frying pan

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    9. That's not enough to get me anywhere near to a glistening glans.

      Delete
  19. Interesting thoughts.

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  20. That sounds good. Later this year my partner is doing a Transiberian Railway journey.
    There is a real romance to train journeys...

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  21. I watched a tv programme of Joanna Lumley on a sleeper train somewhere-it may have been Russia and though she was a bit short of space it was an experience I think x

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  22. Summer 1982. 20 years old, I marvelled at European trains - especially in Switzerland - on a solo Interrail journey. Their cleanliness and efficiency. On return to Dover (or Folkestone?!) I boarded the train to Victoria Station. It was filthy,cramped,chewing gum on the carriage floor,and cigarette burns on the seats. Then the driver in a strong Pakistani accent made an announcement; 'I won't tell you again, shut the bloody doors!' It felt as if I'd returned from the first world to somewhere more akin to a Soviet bloc country. I trust your Wagon Lits will be comfortable - it's a romantic way to travel falling asleep on a train in one country and waking up in another!

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  23. Heidi6:45 pm

    About 30 years ago I went on a sleeper train from the North West of England to Inverness in Scotland.
    Nothing like Venice but I loved it all, yes the sleeping compartment was rather small but the whole experience was an adventure and romantic, something I'd not done before. I don't know what happens now as this was a long time ago but we were awakened in the morning by the steward tapping on our door and handing us tea and biscuits. I did say at the time we must do this again but we haven't. A simple adventure but something well remembered.

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  24. I love sleeper trains. I've never done that one, but the few I have taken were very comfortable and satisfying!

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  25. You're either traveling in 1978 or in the California Bay Area in 2020.

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  26. If that is a your idea of an crappy train try getting a train from Bishop Auckland to Saltburn in the North East.

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  27. that's wonderful to look forward to.

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  28. Woah, a picture to grind my gears! Some sefish twat has put their bag on the seat to stop other fare paying passengers sitting down! I sit there on purpose just to piss them off!!! :)

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  29. From what I here coming out of China (and I work for a Chinese company) I would be cautious traveling anywhere right now.

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  30. You are lucky. They appear to have seats on Welsh trains. In Yorkshire they just chuck some straw down.

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  31. Our Canadian commuters are as bad or worse John.

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  32. I am delayed on the way home
    Par for the course I guess xx

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  33. Sounds like a lovely idea for a trip!

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  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  35. You have never been on Amtrak in the US have you? It is a disgrace compared to European train travel. Lousy food, lack of toilet paper...Took us 15 hours(!!!!) from NY to Toronto and the customs police were just awful. If we had better public transport I would be thrilled to use it, alas, this is America. Land of the car lovers

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    Replies
    1. I'm warming to the fact other countries have shite services as well

      Delete
    2. I've been on Amtrak too, it was fairly awful that's true! So much so that the next journey I did from Toronto to New York I flew.

      Delete
  36. I just remembered John-last year I watched a programme on BBC4 I think-about Venice- Francesco de Mosta,I really enjoyed it x

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  37. I assume Wales generally votes Labour. Perhaps they better stop and become more marginal and receive some attention.

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    Replies
    1. That's why thehealth system is in such a mess

      Delete
  38. The dreaming and planning are part of the magic, and Venice is magic. The train station is right on a canal bank.

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  39. I', just reading a Bill Bryson. He said much the same about the trains in Wales. And the bus connections.

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  41. If you go to Venice before the Corona virus is under control, do us all a favour and stay there until it is please. Even Tom Cruise has fled to London yesterday.

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    Replies
    1. COO-EEE! Are you there? Maybe you should check up on Northern Italy's (Venato and Venice area) health status before you go there. You might have another 2 week's enforced holiday when you get back.

      Delete
  42. I agree with you on the Welsh trains. Having caught the train from Swansea and Cardiff to Manchester and vice versa on various occasions it's been uniformly dreadful for many years. Numerous times there has been no refreshment trolley at all during the very long journey from South Wales to Manchester. More than four hours on a train with no refreshment other than what you bring yourself. Trouble is provision is so hit and miss you never knew of there'd be coffee or no to be honest. As you say the trains were uniformly dirty, often freezing and overall abysmal.

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  43. Uf. Reminds me of train travel in the US. I don’t know f it’s gotten any better or if we just weren’t on a good line, but we took Amtrak from NYC to Washington DC a few years ago and weren’t impressed. And I LOVE train travel.

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  44. Sounds like a great plan.

    One of my lasting memories of riding a sleeper train was one from West Germany to West Berlin--across East Germany. This was not long after the Berlin Wall went up. We were told to keep our compartment curtains closed especially when the train was stopped--which it was periodically by guards so they could search for East Germans trying to escape. Folks had tried everything from boarding the trains to clinging to the undercarriages as a way to get in/out of East Germany to freedom. Of course, being a youngster, when the train stopped in the middle of the night, I peeked out the curtain from my upper berth only to find myself almost face-to-face with a soldier holding a large rifle standing in the corridor right outside our compartment. One nasty glance from him had me hiding under my covers. May you have a more peaceful journey, John.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hi John, train to Venice is a great idea! If you haven't already come across the 'Man in Seat Sixty-one', then I highly recommend his website for planning foreign train trips. His Italy page is at https://www.seat61.com/Italy.htm

    ReplyDelete
  46. A trip to Venice on a train sounds wonderful John something to work towards I wish we had a train on Vancouver island.

    ReplyDelete
  47. We’ve just had an accident on one of the interstate rail lines here in Australia. I loved a “slow TV” 4hour version of parts of The Ghan - the long distance train ride through the centre (Adelaide to Darwin or vv)

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  50. Sleeper train sounds lovely. Were suppose to be going to spain but this whole coronavirus is putting me off flying. We may be going back to Angelsey instead, love it there.

    ReplyDelete
  51. My daughter and I did that train trip!! It was quite the adventure, and I wrote up a little travel journal entry about it to send my friends at the time; I'd be happy to share it with you if you if you care to send your email address to liparifam@gmail.com

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