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First use of our Eurail passes, Paris to Vienna in one day

Friday morning we actually, really, truly, honestly got up at 6 a.m. We checked out of the hotel and took the RER and Metro to Gare de l’Est. We had our Eurail passes validated and found out we were too late to make reservations, which we tried to do on Thursday, but when we went to the station, Kirsten did not bring her ticket. In any event, we found seats in a six-person cabin in the smoking section, yet somehow we made the 13.25-hour-trip with only two cigarettes being smoked in our cabin, so it was no problem at all. When we left Paris the cabin was full. There was one guy with no ticket and no identification who received a written citation from the conductor. By the French border it was me, Kirsten, and one other woman who travelled as far as Karlsruhe. We were then with other occasional riders, but mostly had the cabin to ourselves.

The scenery from the train window was very nice, and we saw a lot of small villages and countryside in Germany and Austria.