A train ride through Europe

Updated: Jul 17 2005, 05:30am hrs
Enjoy Europe through the popular rail route. Take a train through the continent and savour the scenes as you pass through tunnels, valleys and mountains. Rail Europe 4A recently launched their Indian liaison office, its first in South Asia. It offers 17-country rail passes. Buy one of your choice and leisurely meander through Europe soaking in its diverse history and culture.

The benefits of travel by rail is that it is easy and affordable. A Eurail pass first class for 15 consecutive days would come to $588. If you choose a Eurail saverpass first class, it could come to $498 for travel of 15 consecutive days. If you are travelling with a friend, this could be your best bet. If you visit more than one European country, a Eurail Pass will put the rail system of 17 countries on the continent at your disposal. Take a leisurely ride if you want to go for sightseeing.Trains are an integral part of the European way of life. Travel by train and make the European experience your own.

France

Europe Select Pass offers you a magical medley of the old and new - the Louvre, Notre Dame, and the Eiffel Tower contrast with land marks like the high-tech Pompidou Centre and the Glass Pyramid. Theres the Seine winding its way serenely through the city and the Champ Elysees where you can sip coffee at a pavement cafe and watch the world go by. The nightlife is exciting, from glamorous nightclubs with the latest shows like the Lido and the Moulin Rouge to chic discotheques. And of course, the shopping is magnificent. These attractions are rarely more than 20 minutes away because of the citys quick and efficient metro system. For the young at heart, Disneyland Paris is nearby.

If you opt for a sightseeing City Tour, you will see famous Parisian landmarks like the Champs Elysees, Notre Dame Cathedral, Place des Invalides, the Opera, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre and the Glass Pyramid. Whats more, you will even be given an opportunity to get a birds eye view of Paris from the first level of the Eiffel Tower.

Lido Show, Zurich

Zurich, Switzerlands most populous city, offers an ambience of affluence and plenty of cultural diversion. Banks and art galleries greet you at every turn, in a strange marriage of finance and aesthetics. The lake, glistening and blue in the sun, the sidewalk cafes, the swans gliding onto land along the river, the hushed and haunted old squares of medieval guildhouses, the elegant shops all attract you.

If you opt for a city tour, take a panoramic tour of the city where you will see famous Swiss monuments, including the Lion Monument and the Chapel Bridge.

Interlaken

Take an excursion to Interlaken Interlaken - Switzerlands Lake District and Schilthorn Peak. The peak has a revolving restaurant at 3000 metres that allows you to view over 200 peaks over a steaming cup of coffee. Back in Lucerne you can dine at an Indian restaurant and feel at home.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam with its illuminated hump-backed bridges, brown bars, cosy cafes and elegant restaurants, shops and boutiques, flower markets, vibrant nightlife and glass top boats gliding along peaceful canals is often referred to as the Venice of the north.

Visit the Rijksmuseum which houses outstanding works of many famous artists including Van Gogh and Rembrandt. See the famous Anne Franks house, Dam Square, the Royal Palace, Skinny Bridge and Mint Tower. Stroll beside the picturesque tree-lined canals across which the countless bridges link narrow cobbled streets and watch the brightly painted barges passing below.

Vienna

Vienna, the home of the waltz, and Spanish Riding School. A city of elegance, charm, great historical traditions and heritage, yet small enough to discover on foot. See the St. Stephens Cathedral which is Viennas most distinctive landmark, and Figaro House, once home to Mozart. When you have had enough sightseeing for one day, stop for coffee and cakes - the Sachertorte is excellent - and have a chat as the world goes by.

Nice

Nice enjoys an idyllic location on the French Riviera, beautifully set in the Bay of Angels. It is the playground of the rich and famous during the summer months. Nice takes on a different, more peaceful light in the quieter seasons. The palm-lined promenade des Anglais is a perfect place to relax: stroll along the sea front, go shopping or sip drinks at pavements cafes backed by pine clad hills which roll down to the clear, sparkling Mediterranean sea.

Florence

Florence is a living museum of the Italian Renaissance. You can see the legacy of Da Vinci, Botticelli, Michaelangelo to name a few. Visit the Uffizi Gallery with its superb art collection, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the charming Piazza del Duomo, ringed with cafes and bars. Stroll along the river bank and see some of the fabulous palaces, admire the ornate interiors of the churches and enjoy the citys delicious food and wine.

Venice

Venice is romantic and intriguing and has to be one of the worlds most beautiful cities. Take a Gondola or a Vaporetto down the huge Grand Canal and see St. Marks Basilica, the Doges Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. Stroll through the narrow winding streets and discover the romance of Venice. An ideal place for a honeymoon.

Salzburg

Salzburg is best known as the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Dominated by a fortress on one side and a small mountain on the other, this city is best explored on foot. Some of the interesting boutiques and shops are found in the dozens of alleys that link streets and squares. The Salzach flows through the city. Most of the attractions are on the southbank side of the river. The new town, the centre of business activity, is on the north bank. Another highlight is the nearby hills famed for The Sound Of Music Tour. This one-hour tour takes us to the major city sights featured in the movie.

Innsbruck

Squeezed by the mountains and sharing the valley with the Inn River, Innsbruck is compact and easy to explore on foot. To the north, the steep, sheer sides of the Alps rise like a shimmering blue-and-white wall from the edge of the city, an awe-inspiring backdrop to the mellowed green domes and red roofs of this picturesque baroque town. See the city tower, the Hoffburg Alpine Zoo. Extensive mountain transport facilities provide ample hiking and skiing opportunities, particularly to the south and west. The centre of the town is very compact, with the main train station.

Geneva

It is Switzerlands third largest city, comfortably encamped on the shore of Lake Geneva. Geneva belongs not so much to French-speaking Switzerland as to the whole world. At the foot of the Alps on the westernmost tip of Lake Geneva, the city is famous for its 12th century St Peters Cathedral and the Jet deau, a 132-metre high fountain operating from May to October.

Frankfurt

At the crossroads of the countrys north-south and east-west communication, a truly cosmopolitan city rich in traditions, Frankfurt is the commercial capital of Germany.

Owing to its central position, numerous government organisations, including the Federal Bank, are based here. One of the major attractions is the world renowned Frankfurt Zoo. Research institutes, the university founded in 1914, the opera, theatres and an ever increasing number of museums have made the city the scientific and cultural metropolis of Germany.