First time RS tour travelers need to get to Trier, Germany. Which train ride do you recommend...Paris to Trier or Frankfurt to Trier? Which one is easier to access from their airport, has a more scenic route, involves faster travel time to Trier, etc. It's important to us to enjoy the train ride to Trier, but we also (being novice travelers) desire something not too complicated to navigate. Thank you for your help!
We took the train from Frankfurt airport to Luxembourg (went through Trier). If you take the regional train along the Rhine, there is some gorgeous scenery. It also takes just about the same amount of time as other non scenic options. I know there was a connection at Mainz, but it was quite easy to navigate. There is a train ticket office just at the top of the elevators that go down to the train station in the Frankfurt Airport that is quite used to helping tourists. You can stop in there to buy tickets and get a little help with train selection if you are not feeling confident. Otherwise, you can also purchase tickets from a machine.
One thing I have done to help me feel a little more confident when riding trains in a new country is to look up short informational videos on you tube with the search topic "buying train tickets from German ticket machines" or something like that. You can see several people demonstrate how to use the machines in advance. Some of the videos are better than others, but it helps to have a demo before you go. Rick also has some "how to" videos relating to train travel on his site that can be very helpful as well. Another good resource is the website "man in seat 61".
The trains are not hard to use, even for novices! I will warn you that the level of the train steps in relation to the platform varies from station to station and you want to take care with your footing when entering and exiting a train.
We did the GAS tour 3 years ago. Taking the train from the Frankfurt airport was very straight forward with 1 change along the way. We had a beautiful morning for the trip and the scenery along the river, views of the castles, etc were great. I cannot compare the trip to traveling from Paris as we have never done it, but would not hesitate to recommend flying in to Frankfurt and training from there.
If you have not already received the letter from the tour office, they will send the details of how to get to the train in the airport and getting the ticket to Trier. It was our first time to have to train to the start city of a tour, but their instructions made it relatively easy.
I went on the GAS tour in September 2016 and was so scared traveling alone and having to take TWO trains from Frankfurt to Trier. And I was traveling solo and never took trains in Europe. I even put off this trip and the year I was going on the GAS tour changed my mind and decided to go to Ireland ( which turned out to be a wonderful tour) but I always wanted to go on the GAS tour.
Well, don't be put off by taking the two trains to Trier. I did it and it went well! If you want to spend some time in Paris, by all means go that route and enjoy Paris and then take the train to Trier. But if you are only doing that to avoid the two trains don't go to Paris. Spend some time in Trier which is lovely and I wish I had the time to do that!
I landed in Frankfurt and went to the ticket office in the airport, the man sold me the two train tickets, spoke perfect english ( as almost everyone does) and was very patient with me. I did not have to use machines to buy my ticket. I had my very good directions from the RS office with me. I then went to the first train and the are exactly on time. The second train was a bit more tricky, found the area to go to board the train ( asked a worker who directed me), the scary part was had to walk down a very long hallway ( scary in the fact where is the train) and then at the very last sign was for my track, there is a elevator who take to the top and get to the train. More than one train uses the tracks so do not take just any train, take the one at the right time and they do come at the exact time. Boarded that train. The ride was very nice, scenic and lovely and calm. Get off the train, find a taxi and they take you to the hotel.
I even found that traveling the 3 hours it takes from Frankfurt that I got over my jet lag, first time ever, that when I reached the hotel I was fine and not exhausted. And I am always jet lagged when I go to Europe.
If I can do it and I mean that, then you can do it and you have others traveling with you for support and for stopping to ask people. I just asked people along the way to make sure I was heading in the right direction!!! There are escalators to take so travel light ( I don't but still managed).
You will have a wonderful time, I loved the GAS tour and would take it again! Safe travels.