June, 2001 INDEX

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In June Katy and I (madly) decided to go to Marseilles, basically for the weekend. We got the boat across from Dover to Calais and then took a train to Lille. From there we took the sleeper (a mistake) to Marseilles, staying two nights and then returning on the TGV (high speed train) to Paris.

This is what we came for. It had only started running a few days earlier and offered trains at 300km/h plus. In the event the trains proved to be boringly stable and reliable.
They got us to Paris very fast but were about as exciting or atmospheric as a station waiting room. At top speed you hardly seem to be moving at all. The trains also run more or less on time. If anyone ever tells you it’s impossible to run a railway these days, tell them to take the ride from Marseilles to Paris. We had about four days on holiday, spending two nights in Marseilles, a beautiful town: strangely cheap. We had heard Marseilles was a dirty,dangerous, industrial town.    It may have been once, but these days it is wonderful. I can thoroughly recommend it.
June, 2001INDEX Jonathan Brind