When I calculated my impact last year, I knew something had to change. I was doing quite well, because I live vegan and buy most of my stuff secondhand, but flying seemed to be a major issue. I could fly and still have the amount of eco-points to live a sustainable life. But, I want to live as sustainable as I can, so that means the less negative impact, the better. So, I decided to quit flying by plane! But, I am going on a holiday this year! By train. Today I’ll tell you how.
Ditching the plane
Ditching the plane was a fairly easy choice, I don’t want to cause so many emissions anymore, just because I want to sit with my lazy ass on a beach and a bar in a place where it is hot. I never really had a good reason to step in a plane, only for a holiday. I mean, holidays by plane are a plus, not something essential I need. So, no, I am not doing it anymore. And I told everyone. Getting the word out was essential to me, because even though I said the decision was fairly easy, the execution is not. Is this going to last forever? I don’t know. But, for now, I’m just taking it one trip at a time.
The trip that is coming up is one to Albufeira, Portugal. Let’s be honest, that’s not the end of the world, it’s quite nearby. So, the decision to go by train was easy this time. It is doable and does not take weeks! We are going there 11 days with our group of friends. With the past few holidays with them I’ve felt obligated to go by plane, simply because the group wanted it. But now I’ve realized that I can decide myself. So, they are going by plane and I am going by train this year. I am so exited for the adventure!
Traveling by train to Albufeira
If you’re new to this whole world of trains, which I am, it can seem overwhelming. How in earth am I going to find all the tickets and transits and websites and everything? Well, there is one website that gives you all this. It’s www.seat61.com! This man is brilliant. He basically has a website where you can see all the routes by train over the whole world! I could even go to Australia by train! He has is all very neatly explained and it gives so much clarity. I came to find out that there are multiple routes to Albufeira. In this map below you can see these routes.
This is the route I will take:
Step 1: From Enschede to Amsterdam by car or train (price varies since I don’t know where I’ll be or how I will travel)
Step 2: From Amsterdam to Paris with the Thalys, for 35 euro in 3,5 hours. I’ll leave 7:15 in Amsterdam and arrive in Paris at 10:38.
Step 3: From Paris to Hendaye (Spanish border) with the high speed TGV Duplex, for 49 euros in 5,5 hours. I will leave Paris at 12:52 and arrive in Hendaye at 17:31.
Step 4: From Hendaye to Lisbon with Sud Express, in 13,5 hours for 39 euro’s. Leaving Hendaye at 18:35 and arriving in Lisbon at 7:20. This is a night train, which means I’ll have a bed in a cabin.
Step 5: From Lisbon to Albufeira with a local train, in 2,5 hours for 10 euro’s. Leaving Lisbon at 8:23 and arriving in Albufeira at 11:01!
So, that’s it! Leaving Amsterdam I’ll have to transit 3 times, which is not that bad. I decided to go via Hendaye and not Barcelona because in Barcelona I’ll have to stay in a hotel for a night which I don’t want. Taking this route, I can sleep while traveling, this is great! It will cost me 134 euro’s for a single tickey if I book on time and do things right, but we will see about that in the end. I’ve left out the way back home, since I’ll take the same routes and trains. It is cheaper than going by plane, I know, since my friends are doing that. That’s very good to me, saving the environment and saving money!
I am exited for this adventure!
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