I had the opportunity to experience European high speed rail for the first time on my last trip to Europe. For the first leg of my journey to Bruges, I took the Thalys train from Amsterdam to Antwerp. Now, riding a train is not a novelty for me--I ride a suburban commuter train every day, twice a day, to my job in the city. But comparing the two experiences would be like comparing a Range Rover to a Dodge Neon.

First of all, a reservation is mandatory on any Thalys train. Before you even get on the train, you already know you will have a seat. No standing in the vestibule because you are one of the last to board; no sitting on the steps on a copy of the latest train newsletter so your bottom doesn't get dirty. You'll have an actual seat for this train ride.

Secondly, what comfortable seats! If they had these seats on the airplane, I might sleep better on that overnight flight. Soft velour upholstery with deep-cushioned comfort and the back bump to support your lower spine. Adjustable headrests so you can just lie back and enjoy the ride, and enough knee room for those persons of above-average height.

I wish they had these seats on overnight flights!
And the ride! As smooth as if we were gliding on butter! No jostling from side to side, feeling as if you are a martini being shaken, not stirred. No delays for signal or switching problems. And as we traveled alongside the busy highway, the cars filled with morning commuters seemed to be standing still, we were traveling so fast. Sitting there in the window seat with the morning sun shining on my face, I could have easily fallen asleep and remained on the train all the way to Paris. But since I was only going as far as Antwerp, I had to force myself to stay awake for fear of missing my connecting train to Bruges.

Thank you for visiting,

A Great Europe Trip Planner 

Photo was taken by me.

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