The Travel Bug is Biting.

I keep looking for some signs that this damn pandemic is winding down because I want to do some traveling. No, I need to do some traveling! I’ve got several vouchers from Amtrak; enough to get me to the East Coast. Once there, I’m already halfway to Europe and I have the airline miles to get there and back. 

I have looked into a couple of special train rides in the U.K. and am determined to take one, perhaps even the famous (although pricey) Orient Express. As much as I enjoy train travel, I’m also eager to get back to France for repeat visits to places that I particularly enjoyed.

First Stop: Paris. 

I’ve heard people say, “Don’t bother with Paris. It’s so crowded”. My response: “Of course it’s crowded . . . it’s Paris!!”  I’ve always been interested in World War 2 history. Paris was occupied by the Germans from 1940 to 1944 and there is a tour that covers that bit of history and takes you to the relevant sites. That’s at the top of my “to do” list for my next time in that incomparable city.

En France, allez par train!

When I leave Paris for other destinations, it will be by train. It’s the only way to travel in this country. Despite the occasional strike and other problems, the SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer), the French national railway, does a good job. The fact is, you can get from anywhere to almost anywhere in the country by train within one day and frequently at 160-180 miles-per-hour.

Room with a view.

This is the view from the terrace of the Hotel L’Esplanade in the medieval town of Domme. The hotel has a superb restaurant and, weather permitting,  serves lunch on the terrace overlooks a lovely valley through which the Dordogne River flows serenely. This is where I was sitting when I was served a perfect omelet—perfect in size, perfect in texture, perfect in taste and perfect in shape.  I have had many omelets since, but none were up to this standard. Not even close. I yearn for another perfect one.

And so . . .

I’m working up an itinerary for my next trip to Europe. It will include taking Amtrak across the country, probably to Boston, Flying from there to London. A couple of excursion trains in the UK. Then–forgetting about cost for the purpose of this exercise–the Orient Express to Venice. From there, working my way by train back to France and another of those incomparable omelets at the hotel in Domme. Then return to Paris and a flight from there back to the east coast of the U.S. Amtrak will take me from there to the West Coast and I’ll get back to Maui on Hawaiian Airlines. Specifics to be worked out and at least a few changes to come. Oh, yes . . . one small deal: the coronavirus has got to be under control That’s not too much to ask, is it?