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About the blog


This blog hopes to give a personal slant on train travel for fun and leisure, in Europe mainly.  I’ll report on my experiences with the trips I’ve made, and look forward to those I hope to make, while also making room for stuff on traveling, travel writing, and more  tenuously related flannel on slow travel, trip planning, independent travel, popular culture,  ways to live and whatever other stuff that happens to pop into my befuddled, bearded little head.

In this way I hope to develop my writing, learn as much as I can about blogging and internet culture, and hopefully make a few choice connections with like-minded folk along the way.

Always up for guest posts, blog carnivals, paid commissions, bribes and freebies, node-generated marching bands and general mutual sycophancy.

Thanks for dropping by.



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  1. ftfw says:

    Just stumbled on your Orient Express article. Wish I was there! Just starting out with wordpress blog as well and would like to link to your blog if that suits? I have a good existing “client” base and have been happy with the first few months growth of daily visits and subscribed readers. If you’re OK with it, then a link back to “The French Way” blog would be great!

    • joolsstone says:

      Of course, thanks for the comment ftfw, will check yours out sharpish and link back. Am something of a Fracophile msyelf.


      • Hi Jools,

        Thanks for the great blog. You have a amazing range of topics. I can’t however find any mention of Britain’s busiest station – Clapham Junction.

        We are new Youtube Channel called fromclaphamjunction.

        We produce films about Trains, Clapham Junction Station and the sights around Battersea, Wandsworth and Clapham.

        We are planning a Film Festival in 2015 primarily devoted to Train Films – it would be great to have you as a judge on the panel.



  2. Sabina says:

    Hi Jools – As far as train travel, it would be interesting to hear of your experiences with sleeping on trains – sleeping while riding to my next destination is my favorite form of traveling through Europe. Also, since I haven’t been to Europe in a while and, as far as I know, the entire continent is expensive, it would be nice to know about countries/cities/towns on the lower end of the cost scale.

    • joolsstone says:

      Hi Sabina

      Sure, well my experience has been pretty good but so far, but limited to the more expensive part of Europe – the west! It gets cheaper the further east you go more or less, but equally the trains get slower and less reliable. It depends on how long you intend to travel for, but your best bet is probably a eurail pass. These start at $155 upwards for a regional one giving you virtually unlimited day travel.
      Using this, you can then get various sleepers by paying additional supplements which vary enormously according to route and comfort level. You can pay as little as 15 euros for a shared compartment in Turkey but as much as 150 euros for a private deluxe one in Germany say! A great place to check these by country and route is:
      For female solo travellers, you can always share a single sex compartment or couchette, which are narrower than single beds but comfy enough if you don’t mind sharing your space with others.
      A great site to see actual pictures of the various compartments on all the routes is Check individual country pages for examples of each.
      Even in the east, where I’m headed myself soon – Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Turkey etc – you’ll find that the cars are second hand ones from western European routes. They may not all have buffet services, air con and en suite bathrooms (as you’re possibly used to in the US) but all should have lockable compartments, decent beds and access to bathrooms in the corridor.
      As you’ve been to western Europe before probably, I’d recommend looking at anywhere east of Germany (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic) for cheaper routes without sacrificing much convenience, and I’d be happy to make specific route suggestions too if you give me a rough budget and timescale.
      Phew! Hope that’s useful anyway!
      Thanks for dropping by, maybe you’d also like to vote in my poll and tell me what my debut post for flightster should be about?

  3. Carren says:

    Hi Jools,

    Great site. I found it on Travel Blog Exchange and I was instantly captivated by all the stories behind the trains. I love trains–the ones that go around a city and the ones that take you out of it. Ever since I first learned how to take the subway in Boston, I’ve always been fascinated by the freedom a train affords while still being able to appreciate the ways the land changes while undertaking the trip. 🙂 In fact, trains are exactly what’s capturing Californian imagination as of the moment, particularly the development of the High Speed Rail that will hopefully bridge San Francisco and LA closer together 🙂

    Safe travels!

    • joolsstone says:

      Thanks for alighting here Carren, think you’ll feel at home on this blog then. Yes, the HS movement does seem to be gathering steam over the pond doesn’t it? Hope Obama keeps that commitment to develop the infrastructure needed.

  4. Jean says:

    In our blog, we do have several blog posts (in my name click link) on use of several different train systems when we vacationed in Europe this past June for a month. (southern Germany, Czechsolvakia, Denmark). Deustch Bahn is impressive. We also took Swiss train from Basel after cycling from Germany to Basel 90 kms.

    Czech trains are old but they like the German and Danish trains have a train car for bike storage/transport.

    You would find it mutually beneficial to network/partner also with cyclists /cycling tourism where multi-modal travel is common in Europe and is set to take off in North America even Amtrak (US) and Via Rail (Canada) do not have extensive passenger rail networks/choices like Europe.

    And for entries how much I enjoyed our European trip see also (My partner is originally from Germany and familiar with the train systems there):

    My best wishes for taking your blog far to share your enthusiasm. Drop by with us for awhile.

  5. Michael Gray says:

    I’m delighted to have found your site – a nice alternative to the Man in Seat 61 (not that there’s anything wrong with that but another voice is welcome). I have blogged before but want to start a new blog and am looking for a host and so I have a question: your site has adverts, yet iis powered by WordPress – but the blurb on their own site about blogging has a “no adverts” rule. So how does this work in your case please?

    • joolsstone says:

      Thanks for leaving the 1100th comment Michael! I’m not sure what you win, apart from my gratitude! I’ve sent you an email but essentially there are 2 versiosn of WP. The free -no ads’ one and the self hosted one, ‘do what you like’ version. I switched to the latter last year.

  6. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog, Jools, and look forward to seeing more of your rail adventures posted soon.

    What do you think of the proposed HS2 rail link in the UK? Why on earth isn’t it covering the full length of the country?

  7. Shan Majeed says:

    Thank you very much for you post. I am really feeling great after reading your post. UK is really a wonderful country to visit. One must visit UK. If you want to enjoy life then you must go to Europe specially UK 🙂

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