First class sleeper?

Don’t want to be prattish about this and please forgive but I fail to see what’s particularly first class in this video, with the lovingly opened doors and shots of bathroom accessories.  Way to go for sure on an overnight haul but hardly ‘lux’:

Interesting concept what we see as lux and downmarket.  Chap next door and I were talking places to holiday and he said plenty of places in our country, which is true. Wouldn’t mind getting over to the Esk Valley and Moors again – just as exotic as anywhere else I’ve been.

A Russian girl I was connected with for some time in Russia [not the ex-gf] found herself an American boy and went over there but in clapboard suburbia, she started to feel hemmed in and the sight of America was not as in the sitcoms.  She returned, could not stand, went back over.  Some parts of the US seem quite exotic to me, maybe not to the locals, who knows?

I found it disappointing in California – rutted roads, dull in colour, aging buildings like a child’s new toy now tarnished, dilapidated slums, a convertible Mustang which jammed in cruise mode … and so on. Spanish mission buildings were nice though, Del Mar was nice.

When I was coming back here in ’89 after another stint in Oz, I wanted to go through Europe again in summer before my new job started, it was suggested I’d qualify for both Eurail and youth hostels, sounded a good combination. Had a look at the Eurail, First Class did not seem all that expensive really, so way to go eh?

It did turn out for the best – you could go in that class if you wanted but more fun was to be had in second [gals]. For accommodation, I used the youth hostel once only in Finland, wasn’t my thing and so it was then either a station hotel or the local info place for a billet if longer than a few days. Billets are good as you’re immersed and have to at least learn some of the language, eat their cuisine.  Again – way to go.

Not sure you’d want to do it that way today, what with the invaders and danger and all that but it was good back then. Anyway, I took an overnight sleeper in first from Paris to Madrid, it was ok but nothing special.  Slept through most of it.

That one was lineball cost effective as you’re fresh and clean the other end but emerge into 38 degree heat at 10 a.m [100F], soon to be grimy again.

The first class Eurail, on the other hand, was worth every Euro.

I suppose what I’m getting at is that most of us are on budgets, restricted or expansive, and if your pride will allow it, then it’s an idea to buy high priced versions of some items and bargain basement on others – but you know all this.

When I took the ex-gf to Thailand, we talked it through before, I mentioned the budget limit, we went bargain basement flight there [only one class available actually] but then five star once in Pattaya.

Ditto with trips – local excursions for the most part, shopping or lazing on the sun lounges, then the overnight Safari to the Burmese border which did cost but the value was immeasurable in our eyes. Plus she got to see and be on all the animals she wanted – crocs, elephants, tapirs – along the way.

I can no longer do those things but who cares, perfectly happy with what I had. Thing is not to be greedy, really it is. Plenty still on my bucket list but it’s not going to happen, longer in the tooth, far less safe now, health issue at times, even the sailing is going to be selective island hopping rather than the grand voyage.

Which brings me to a question pour vous:

If some quiz win was to offer you a one-off, weekend City Break somewhere,  they were great to do back then – which city would you choose today as your jumping off destination?

Let’s also say you could pay an extra £400 pp to another continent. Would you take it?  Where to?  Remember, they’re offering only the one return flight pp, any other flights you’d have to fork out for yourself and it must all fit into the one weekend.

Just reflecting on those City Breaks now – they were a brilliant idea. Airport late Friday, back late Sunday, you could zip over to Paris or Prague or wherever, have a grand time.  Wonder if they’ll ever come back, says he wistfully.

6 comments for “First class sleeper?

  1. If you don’t think that is “lux” try an overnight sailing on Brittany Ferries.

    Winning a city break would be my idea of hell.

    • Maybe.

      Brittany Ferries – hmmm, can’t remember the company but went Poole to St Helier, stayed with friends in Trinity, then took the hydrofoil to St Malo – was that Brittany?

      • Brittany used to run a hydrofoil. Never been on it and now it is no more.

        Back in the day it used to be a very pleasant crossing – Portsmouth to Cherbourg. Good food, well presented and served. Nice relaxing way to start the hols. Even up until 3 or 4 years ago Caan to Portsmouth was reasonably enjoyable. Not so much now. Food is crap and if that doesn’t make you heave the stink of the unwashed waiters will. If you go overnight be sure to take your own pillow. Brittany Ferries is a French company so don’t expect customer service – doesn’t exist. If they cancel your crossing, as they did with us at the start of LD, they won’t give you your money back without a long fight!

  2. I travelled on the hovercraft, once. Never again! One was Shakened to bits by the vibrations. The crossing to France took an hour, I was pleased that it took no longer.

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