As I sit on the train, once again leaving home, off on another travel adventure, I can’t help thinking how lucky I am to be able to travel so much AND to live in such a beautiful part of the world. 
I was born and still live in a small seaside town with the lovely south England countryside on my door step and numerous pretty villages and interesting towns just a short drive or train ride away. I’ve no idea just how many times I’ve done this particular train journey between my home town, Gatwick Airport and London but I never grow tired of gazing at the green meadows with the hills of the South Downs as a backdrop, the village of Amberley with its wonderful chalk pit museum (and some great country pubs), the river Arun winding its way through fields of cows and sheep, the view of the historic town of Arundel with its majestic castle and cathedral, all clearly visible from the train. It’s early Spring so most of the trees are still bare here in Sussex but in many fields there are great swathes of bright yellow as the oil seed rape comes into full bloom.
Europe by train

The view from the train as you leave Calvi, Corsica

Another one of my favourite train rides is on the Mediterranean island of Corsica. You can take the train from Calvi, along the Balagne coastline, to the pretty seaside town of L’Ile Rousse. The view from the train as you pass bays of golden sands and crystal clear azure waters is breath-taking and the little train stops at a number of lovely secluded beaches so you can hop on and off wherever the fancy takes you.
Corsica train

View fro the train in La Balagne, Corisca

From L’Ile Rousse the train turns inland and climbs up into the mountains to the town of Corte and then on along the mountainous backbone of Corsica and down to Ajaccio on the south West coast. The last part of the journey, which I’ve yet to do, is said to be the most spectacular, with the train even passing under a waterfall known as the Bride’s Veil.
Europe by train

L’Ile Rousse, Corsica

Travelling around Emilia-Romagna in Italy both last summer and the summer before was really easy by train and all the major towns I wanted to visit like Modena, famous for its balsamic vinegar and Rimini, with its miles of sandy beach and historic old centre, were all on the main rail network and when you explore  Europe by train you can see so much more then simply the destinations that you visit.
The balsamic vinegar that Modena in Italy is so famous for.

The balsamic vinegar that Modena in Italy is so famous for.

I’ve often thought of exploring more of Europe by rail and I’ve been looking at the website Voyages-SNCF for further ideas and inspiration.

Do you have a favourite rail route you’d recommend or one you dream of taking, for whatever reason, be that the stunning scenery it passes through or the wonderful places it stops at along the way or, of course, simply the reward of the final destination?

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