Our family loves travelling around Europe by train. We try to avoid the use of airplanes as much as possible because of their big impact on climate change. Plus, we also really love travelling by train anyway as we can see many places on the way.
I am an 11 year old child with a strong concern about climate change and a passion for trains, and will start by telling you about our most recent trip, which was between London and Milan. We do this often, as my mum’s family is in Milan and both my parents are environmental campaigners. My mum and I were inspired to start this blog after hearing Swedish activist Greta Thunberg – who like us travels by train around Europe to avoid flying – speaking on BBC Radio 4 about climate change.
With my parent’s help, I will later write about other trips we’ve been on around Europe. My parents will help to explain how easy it is to book tickets and plan these trips.
This is me arriving in Bardonecchia, on the Italian side of the France-Italy Alps, on Sunday 17th February 2019. It was our first stopover on our way to Milan from London, after we changed trains in Paris earlier that day. Funnily enough, my mum bumped into an old colleague on the train who takes the Paris-Milan train regularly, also to avoid flying.
We took a Eurostar service in the morning from London St. Pancras International to Paris Gare Du Nord, then went to Paris Gare Du Lyon to change to a TGV service from Gare Du Lyon towards Milano Porta Garibaldi. We spent about 1 or 2 hours having lunch at Gare Du Lyon in Paris, before taking the TGV service for Bardonecchia, where we arrived on time for dinner. Both journeys were very calming and scenic, with the British and French countryside zooming past us at high speed.
We love going to Bardonecchia and we often stop over there. It’s great for skiing (or sledging) in the winter and for walking in the mountains in the summer. It also has a nice town centre with many shops and restaurants, and a free bus service to get around, so no need for a car there.
This is Milan, where we spent a few days after Bardonecchia (there are plenty of cheap local services to get to Turin and Milan from there, as well as high speed trains if you prefer).
A week later, we came back by sleeper train.
We started heading back on the night of Saturday 23rd February 2019, being on a 23:10 Thello sleeper train service to Paris Gare Du Lyon from Milano Centrale. Being due to arrive at 9:37 AM, we ended up arriving closer to 11 due to the Swiss border control being more time consuming than it used to be [technical note from my parents: take potential border control delays into account when planning changeover timings, especially for Switzerland]. But we still had time to get to Gare Du Nord to take a Eurostar service back to London St. Pancras International, as we had left enough time between the trains.
We took a taxi through Paris, and then waited for quite a few minutes at Gare Du Nord due to a bomb alert, before we went through security.
It was fun (not the bomb alert – but everything else!). Other people should try it!