Ah, the early ’70s — the halcyon days when I and countless other baby boomers explored Europe (or at least Western Europe) with our trusty Eurail passes, which offered virtually unlimited travel on Western European railways for periods up to three months.
And as I recall, I paid the grand sum of $300 for a three-month pass — and that was for first-class seating.
True, I was usually one of the scruffiest riders in first class at that time — I often used to sleep on the trains to save money, since my budget was the proverbial $5 a day — but in exchange for sharing a compartment mostly with staid businessmen and properly dressed ladies, I had comfortable seating and hardly ever had to stand out or even sleep… Continue reading
Like many baby boomers, when I was in my 20s I spent a lot of time — sometimes months at a time — riding European trains.
On shorter trips, when I would purchase separate tickets from one point to the next, I would always travel second class, and had some memorable experiences meeting the locals — and, from time to time, having to sleep in the corridors because the trains were so packed.
Once, riding the Spanish trains between Malaga and Barcelona, I spent 24 hours without a seat, standing up, lying down when possible, but having a blast sharing food and drink with my fellow seatless passengers, trying as best we could to understand each other in our respective broken Spanish and English. (Remember, I was in my 20s.)
But on my longer trips around Europe, I would buy… Continue reading