Author: Broxi Bear
Date of Trip: May 2006
My friend and I recently traveled from Scotland to Germany by rail. We travelled from Glasgow (Scotland), via Edinburgh, to London by GNER (www.gner.co.uk). The journey by standard class was uneventful until we approached London. We had to transfer from GNER to London Underground to complete the journey due to King’s Cross station being closed for trackwork. We stayed overnight.
The next morning, we went to Waterloo and traveled on the Eurostar to Brussels. At Brussels, we were to travel to Cologne on the Thalys train. Due to a mix-up on the platform, I missed the train. The doors of the train closed on me, and I couldn’t open them. The Thalys staff were most unhelpful. I traveled on the next train, a DB (DieBahn) ICE train. I would certainly recommend the ICE over the Thalys.
Traveling 2nd class on the ICE is comparable to 1st class on many other trains. After my friend and I met up in Cologne, we traveled on the Regional Express to Remagen.
We stayed in a self catering apartment in Remagen, right opposite the station. It was clean and comfortable, and shops are close by.
Remagen is a good base for exploring the Rhine valley area. Sights to see include the remains of the Remagen Bridge, a quick train to Cologne lets you see the Cathedral (very close to the station). One sight we were lucky to see was “Rhein An Flammen.” A lot of the cruise vessels on the Rhine travel along, all lit up, and there are spectacular firework displays.
On the return trip, we traveled first class all the way to Glasgow. We traveled from Cologne to Brussels on the Thalys train. We were provided with a (cold) meal. On transferring at Brussels to the Eurostar, we were first of all offered a glass of champagne, then were provided with a menu to select our meal. I took the hot option, which was very nice. We were also offered wine with the meal.
On arrival in London, we stayed overnight at a Travelodge. It was clean but basic (at £26 a room, for London you can’t complain).
The next morning, we traveled on GNER 1st class to Glasgow. 1st class on this train is not the same as 1st class on the trains in France and Germany.
If I do this trip again, I would certainly recommend that you take the ICE rather than the Thalys.