Weekly Blogger Round-Up: Buying French & German rail tickets – Packing cubes – Love locks in Paris

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This week’s blogger round-up contains a very helpful website review by Maggie Lacoste from Experience France by Bike for hassle-free purchase of French & German train tickets at the best prices, followed by tips on using packing cubes (I had never heard of them!) by the very practical Jo Karnaghan from Frugal First Class Travel and, to round off, the latest news about love locks on the Pont des Arts in Paris from a new blogger I have just discovered – Beth Shepherd from Wanderlust and Lipstick. Enjoy!

The Easy Way to Buy French Rail Tickets

by Maggie LaCoste from Experience France by Bike, an American who loves biking anywhere in Europe, but especially France, which has the perfect combination of safe bike routes, great food, great weather and history.

Screen-Shot-2014-05-21-at-10.50.12-PMEasy.  Purchase tickets for you and your bike. User-friendly. No hassles. Fast. No booking fees. No advertising.

For anyone who has ever tried to book French Rail tickets from the USA, none of these words would ever describe the experience!  Until now.

A relatively new travel company, Capitaine Train offers travelers an efficient platform for buying train tickets through the French Rail parent SNCF and Deutche Bahn, two of Europe’s largest train carriers. I came upon their website quite by accident, and I am so happy that I did.  I’ll definitely be purchasing my train tickets for my summer trip using Capitaine Train.  It’s certain to be much faster than purchasing tickets using Voyages-sncf.com, and cheaper than Rail Europe. Read more

Real Life One Bag Travel – Packing Cubes Reviewed

by Jo Karnaghan from Frugal First Class Travel, an Australian who loves to travel – especially in Europe – and who has gradually learned how to have a First Class trip on an economy budget, without missing out on anything!

packing_cubesI’ll be the first to admit, I was always dubious about packing cubes.  I saw them on websites, I saw them in luggage shops, but I always thought they were a bit of a gimmick.  Another way to spend more money on travel accessories I didn’t need.  Then I asked my blogger colleagues for their favorite packing tips.  Travel blogger after travel blogger raved about packing cubes.  I was curious, and decided I really needed to make up my own mind. Read more

The Weight of Love

by Beth Shepherd from Wanderlust and Lipstick, an American who has travelled halfway around the world several times and is now a first-time adoptive parent in her fifties in the Pacific Northwest.

love_lockThe many bridges crossing the Seine in Paris invoke a certain je ne sais quois, inspiring lovers worldwide to walk amidst their beauty, sharing romantic moments. Around 2008, the walls of several bridges—including the Pont des Arts, with its spectacular view of Île de la Cité—have virtually disappeared from view, covered by swathes of love locks, padlocks symbolizing unbreakable love.

Love locks are not unique to Paris. Bridges in Germany, Taiwan, Canada, and Italy are also festooned with thousands of locks. The tradition, relatively recent in Europe (2000’s), transpires as follows: Sweethearts inscribe their initials, names, or a message of love on a love lock or love padlock. The lock is affixed to a bridge, fence or gate. And then, the sweethearts throw away the key (in this case, into the river Seine) to show their love is forever more. Read more

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