I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth.-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Mona's Musings

May 7th, 2011

The Trains of Europe

“Trains go where cars can and cannot: into canyons, along rivers, through mountains, sidling up to back yards and into town centers. So much about trains is visionary…So much past is present in railroads. Their graceful, gorge-spanning wooden bridges and trestles come straight out of Leonardo da Vinci’s sketchbooks.” Ruth Levy Guyer, The Romance of Train Travel Never Fades


There is something supremely romantic about train travel. After residing in England for nearly a year and visiting other great cities on the continent, I’ve lost count of the number of trains I’ve been on and every single time — I love it.

At the moment of this writing, we are gliding through the French countryside between Brussels and Paris. A few days ago, we took the Eurostar between London and Brussels. In the next few days, we’ll be training it to Normandy from Paris and probably from Munich to Salzburg. Not long ago, we gawked out the window of a train in the mountains of Norway —  and…

well, I can’t remember all of the rides before that.

Why do I love the railroad (as opposed to planes or cars)?

* Train stations are fun. The sound of trains coming and going is enough for me.*

*Trains are open and inviting, there’s a free spirit about a train.*

*Trains show you the world up close and personal – intimate in the most pleasant sense.*

*Trains are quiet and smooth and secure (forget all the old Westerns).*

*Conductors punch your ticket.*


Of course, the best rides are the ones when you
get a really good-looker sitting across from you.

Hint of Romance

Romance is all about how you get there…

What did you think of this musing?

Join the discussion!


  1. Heidi says:

    And the end of BBC’s “North & South” certainly adds to the romance of trains for me!!

  2. maritza ardila- perez says:

    I think it is a wonderful experience to you and Dale to be together as couple. I believe is amazing! Experience!!. We love the train in Europe I think is perfect for couple to be together. I love it love to both of you Maritzaxxxxxxx

  3. Harrison says:

    Dale sure rocks that beard like a CHAMPION!

    One of my fondest memories was riding the train 27 hours from LA to Salem, OR when I was about 11. Rode up, 1 week with my grandmother, then rode back. How inviting and magical it was. I really enjoyed the Portuguese trains, even the commuters, while I was on my mission. The community feeling made me smile- unlike the “cattle car” feeling of the airplane.

  4. Loved the Ruth Levy Guyer quote. And Mona, you are beautiful.

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