How do you say Thalys? I say it Tarlis. Maybe it is Taylis. It is the high speed express train that will transport us from Amsterdam at the conclusion of our Euro river trip to Brussels. Train travel is not cheap in western Europe, but for an extra ten Euro, we are travelling first class.
Depart cruise 10.00, 11.18 Thalys depart Amsterdam, arrive Brussels 13.08, Eurostar depart Brussels 14.52, arrive London 16.03 (one hour time difference).
Now this is interesting. I put us on an alert list for our train journey from London to Newcastle as it was too early to book. At about 10.00pm many days later the email alert arrived. 11.00am is a civilised time to catch a train in London, as the the hotel check out will probably be 10.00am. £30 for both of us. We paid £24 in 2008. Not too bad. I noticed only £49 to go first class. That might be nice and we would not be in the company of that dreadful woman from Darlington who talked non stop for the journey north in 2008.
I am a cautious person. I got our paperwork out, double checked times and dates. 'R, come and have look at this and make sure I have it correct'. All good and click buy the first class, but the session had timed out.
I went back and our details were still all there. Take two. Well, the first class price of the 11.00am train had jumped to £89.
These varying fares depending on on how early you book and what time you want to travel are quite mysterious to we Australians who are used to set price fares. We might book a few days before if we think a train might be in high demand, but then we don't really use trains to travel such distances. We are more likely to fly and yes, I am sure there are very cheap flights that could be had, but train travel is enjoyable and part of the holiday. Air travel is to be endured.
In a plaintive and whining tone, I asked R what to do, and with confirmation from R, I went ahead. So what did I do? Pay £89 for first or £30 for economy?