9 April, 2022 – updated on 3 August, 2022

The other day a friend was asking Feli whether I was always taking the plane to see Thomas at the Loire, i.e. flying to Paris and then taking the train. So far all my travels to the Loire have had the following itinerary:

8.31 a.m. – boarding the ICE to Mannheim
1.27 p.m. – changing trains in Mannheim
1.42 p.m. – boarding the TGV to Paris Est
4.54 p.m. – changing stations in Paris using the metro
5.37 p.m. – boarding the TER to Amboise at Gare d’Austerlitz
7.17 p.m. – arriving in Amboise and getting picked up by Thomas
7.30 p.m. – aperitif at Thomas’s

The journey back to Berlin starts in Amboise at 6.23 a.m. and usually ends in Berlin at 5.30 p.m. The whole trip (return) costs between 100 and 200€ in total, depending on when you book the tickets.

Update: More than once I have missed trains – in either Mannheim or Paris. So my current advice is: Take the train from Berlin to Frankfurt, leaving Berlin at 7.28 a.m. In Frankfurt you’ll then have an hour to spare which allows for a quick and quite enjoyable stroll along the river Main. When you return to the station the TGV will already be waiting for you. In Paris it’s advisable to have a 2€ coin ready as this will be quickest way for you to secure a ticket for the metro (1,90€). I now have a small stock of unused tickets at home which means I don’t have to queue at all, making me feel quite Parisian, for 15 minutes (which is the duration of the trip from Est to Austerlitz).