My plan is to take the train to Cambridge, switch to Peterborough and then to York. I brought an e-reader full of fantastic books, but after half an hour on the train I'm still on the second page. The best thing of travelling by train is looking out of the window. Something that I will seldom do on my regular commuting train turns into something exciting when abroad. I enjoy the Norwich coastline, where a new Spring does it's best to wipe out the last dark Winter colours. The train stops at some places that I have never heard of and that I forget immediately after the train leaves, so they might be new and interesting for me on a next train trip.
We have over half an hour to change trains in Cambridge and that brings me to a second reason to love travelling by trains. You simply get better food then people in cars and planes. The culinary highlight at an average petrol station is still a bag of crisps, while modern train stations changed into little heavens for food lovers. You can get the same quality of food at airports, but at four times the price. I'm sorry, but I don't want to take a mortgage just to buy a sandwich. My travel continues with a fresh wrap, a smoothie and a newspaper that I don't read.
My train arrives in York, so there's some time left for a little bit of sightseeing before catching the bus that will take me to the Yorkshire countryside. Who said that trains are often delayed? I ask you: have you ever been in a traffic jam? I often wave at them when my train is progressing to my destination.
I can't read minds, but I guess that you are thinking: 'that ticket from the Netherlands to Yorkshire cost you an arm and a leg. No, it was actually cheaper than flying. Ok, flying to, say, London Gatwick might be cheap, but London is not my destination. Flying would still have cost me tickets for trains and buses and I maybe would have to get up earlier then on the ferry to be on time at the airport.
No, I won't say that international train travelling is always better then flying or taking a car. That's up to you. But I would like to say, give it a chance. Buy your ticket on time and sit down with some good food and a book or newspaper. I bet you won't read it.
Karolien van Wijk