Any journey between two of Europe’s greatest cities is always going to be an exciting and evocative one, not least when it is a sleeper train. Moreover, this was going to be no ordinary sleeper.
For our Munich to Paris journey by sleeper, we had booked the top grade of compartment. Not only did we have it to ourselves, but it contained a toilet and shower.
This would have been a real indulgence were it not due to the fact that our prior planning led us to grab the tickets pretty much the moment they were released, leading to incredibly reasonable fares.
It wasn’t necessarily luxury either, but quite a practical move. We’d have a few hours the next day in each of Paris and London, and of course a Eurostar journey between them. We also had the sleeper back to Inverness that following night, so it was important for us to be refreshed and clean.
The alternative, forty-eight hours of travel with no chance for a proper wash, was not something we were up for.
Like all the best sleeper compartments, it was an exercise in design genius, with every inch of space put to good use for the beds, for storage, and of course the bathroom which seemed to take up virtually no space at all.
This was, it turned out, precisely because it did indeed take up virtually no space at all.
Having a shower on the train was a novelty, but something of a laborious exercise in contortion as there was barely enough room to turn around in it, perfectly functional though it was.
No matter, though – sleepers are, as the name suggests, for sleeping. Not least after a long day, a fun-packed few hours exploring in Munich, and two or three lovely German beers. We were too tired even for the complementary wine, which served us well on the following night from London to Inverness.
With an impressively civilised arrival time in Paris of 9am, there was plenty time to sit back and enjoy our more than adequate breakfasts as the French countryside rushed by. We were edging closer to home…