Part Four: One train, one subway, then the TGV train across Franceā€¦

July 14, 2011

The TGV in Cote Azur

We left Normandy early on the 13th for the two-hour train trip back to Paris, then connected by metro to the TGV train to Annecy, in the Haute Savoie, almost to Switzerland.

The TGV or fast train, the marvel of the French National Railroads, makes the journey from Paris to Marseilles, about four hundred miles, in just three hours.

The lake at AnecyOur trip, from Paris to Annecy, with a few stops, just under three hundred miles, also took three hours. The drive would have taken at least six, along winding mountain roads.

We used our French Rail passes, bought from Rail Europe, where we can travel any four days in a month in France, any distance on those days. We got a discount by buying a “saver pass”because we are traveling together and the rail pass ends up being much more economical than buying individual tickets.

The train is also less expensive than driving, when you take into consideration the cost of renting a car, gas, toll roads and parking. And in addition to being economical and fun, taking the train is much more “green” than driving.

As we sped across France, we sat back in plush seats facing each other across a table, chatting, laughing and enjoying the beauty of the countryside as if unfolded in front of us.

We passed bright fields of sunflowers, turning toward the sun, and rural cottages with tidy gardens and laundry flapping in the breeze. We watched the sky change as rain clouds danced across it and majestic mountains came into view. Read More→