Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Our big train journey starts tomorrow

We are all in a state of nervous excitement about tomorrow, as this is when we begin our train journey to Rome. I planned it with the help of The Man in Seat Sixty-One website, he knows nothing about travelling with children but a lot about travelling on trains, so the advice I found there was invaluable, he even has videos of the trains and how to navigate metros and taxi ranks! (added note: actually he does have some advice for travelling with children, including what sling to use!!! See this page)
So this is what we have planned, hope it goes smoothly:

We take a train from Leicester arriving at London St Pancras at 12.30, we then have an hour to do some food shopping for lunch and dinner (as otherwise the cost escalates...) and check in for the Eurostar journey to Paris, we arrive in Paris at 5pm and here I had a chicken moment and booked a private taxi to pick us up and take us from the Gare du Nord to the Gare de Lyon. My motivation was that at that point it will be dark, I have two hours to get from one train to the next, I have two small children, a big pushchair and a big rucksack, queues for taxis can be long and it will be rush hour and my French is crap... So I parted with an extra 65Euros, steep... but I'm less worried.
From the Gare de Lyon we take the Thello sleeper train straight to Rome, I booked a cabin just for us, again this was more costly than a couchette but I wouldn't be able to sleep with the boys in a shared compartment. And hopefully we'll get to Rome at 10am the next day!!
My main motivations for this are a sense of adventure, how much more the boys will learn and see compared to taking a plane and my total terror at flying!

I'm taking just one rucksack that can fit on my back so won't be able to carry Isaac in the Kinderpack (he doesn't like being carried anymore anyway) and the double pushchair, I seldom use it as the boys now like to walk but Rome is a little dangerous traffic wise and some places require the amount of walking that a 5 and 3 year old struggle with, it's a pain to lug onto trains and buses but I'm guessing it's the last year I use it. So now I just need to pack our clothes and go! Will keep you posted.

All of us in Rome last year when we drove through Europe

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