Buchs To Vienna By Train

I decided since I was going to be so close to Austria while visiting Liechtenstein, I would use the opportunity to visit Vienna. It would be a quick trip, just and day and would require a full day of travel from Buchs in Switzerland, but I considered it a fact-finding mission for a future trip.

The train left from Buchs and traveled through Liechtenstein and then to Austria. As we got into the mountains of Austria it was snowing and the route for the next hour or so turned into a live action Xmas card. Living most of my life in the American South, snow is always a novelty. It is even more appreciated when I don’t have to drive or work in it.

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The train slowed a bit in the mountains, I’m not sure if the snow had anything to do with it, but we arrived in Innsbruck a few minutes late. It has been my experience that European trains run on time. I wasn’t really thinking about transferring between trains in Innsbruck when I booked this trip. The window of transfer was very small. By the time I got off of my train and found the car I was supposed to be in, I was surprised to find that the door wouldn’t open. I soon realized the reason was that it was leaving without me.

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This was not the train that left me. 

In most parts of America missing a train will mean waiting another 12-24 hours for the next one. Since I was in Europe, there was another leaving for Vienna in about an hour. I got booked on that one and grabbed lunch at the station while I waited for my new train.

The next train arrived on time and the journey to Vienna continued without any delays. I arrived early in the evening and made my way to the hotel. I checked in, walked to the neighborhood store for supplies, and plotted how to attack my full day in Vienna.

The Austrian Federal Railways trains were fairly modern, clean, and comfortable. All of this was good since I spent about 8 hours that day on them. In hindsight, I probably should have not spent so much time on the rails for such a short trip, but this was all brand new for me. The trip from Buchs to Innsbruck through the mountains was scenic enough to make it worth it. I only wished I had gotten better photos from the train.

London to Paris to Geneva

We arrived early to St. Pancras International station for the Eurostar back to Paris for what was going to be a long day of travel. The station across the street, King’s Cross, has some sort of Harry Potter related thing my travel companions wanted to see so we figured we would have breakfast there and they could run across for the photo op. It turns out there are a few Potter fans out there. They waited about half an hour in line and just as they were about to have their photo taken, they had to split back to the bags and me since they were closing check in for our train. This was one of the casualties of a short stay and poor planning on our part. I guess we will have to go back. This will also give me time to see the Harry Potter flicks, as I haven’t yet (or read the books. My nephews think I’m insane, or maybe a generation older than I am).

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The passport control line seemed to take longer in London that in Paris, despite the French folks not chatting with me about records or anything for that matter, just a scan of the passport to see that I’m not wanted by INTERPOL. We boarded in plenty of time and zipped across the Channel. I purchased an over priced half bottle of Champaign because drinking Champaign at approximately 150mph while under the sea seemed like something that I never really wanted to do until I knew I could do it. I regret nothing!

We arrived on time to Gare du Nord and then had to make our way to Gare de Lyon, which was about a 20-minute car ride away. Once again we sprung for a van since we were bogged down with several days of souvenirs from two countries.

Gare de Lyon is a beautiful station from the outside. Now that I think of it, all the train stations we went to so far on this trip were beautiful. We had some time to kill that I had built into this part of the trip just to be safe and spent it at a café at the station. The station is open to the outside so it was a tad chilly, but nothing a little hot cocoa or wine couldn’t knock out.

 

Being a rail fan, I was excited about the TGV-Lyria train we would be taking from Paris to Geneva. It was a smooth and relatively fast trip to Geneva, but it was also dark since I booked a train later in the day just in case we got held up making our way from London. I’m guessing the journey was pretty especially once we slowed down entering the Alps. Since the journey to Switzerland was short like London, it was more important to get there than to see the sights along the way. Just one more reason to go back, I say that a lot.

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