We were so excited we couldn’t sleep! Finally our first day on the road.

First destination: Lisbon – Paris. We booked the reservation the Friday before (in Lisbon Oriente International Bus Ticket station) and it included two train rides – from Lisbon to Hendaye in Sud-Express (for those of you who do not know the story behind this train ride, it was inaugurated in October 1886 and at that time it represented the quickest route between Paris-Madrid and Lisbon, you can read about it more here); and from Hendaye to Paris by a high speed train (TGV). We will leave Lisbon in 17 July 2017 at 21:34 PM and arrive in Paris at 18 July 6h30 PM (with some down time in Hendaya from 11:33 AM to 13:18PM).

So there we went! The inicial train from Lisbon to Hendaye we booked sleeping cabins, since the whole trip was by night. The train separated man and women, so each of us was in a separated 4 bed cabin. They offered water, earplugs and even toothbrush and toothpaste. The bed is small, but comfortable. The bathrooms were also ok.

Right at the beginning of the trip, just one problem… There were fires going on in the north of Portugal (in Mangualde) so they warned us that if the fire crossed the train lines we could not pass and had to go by bus until the border. And that exactly what happened! They waked us as 1AM and we had to go with all of our stuff to buses that crossed A25 all the way to the border in Vilar Formoso. In fact, it was all very well organised – we jumped into the bus, they took us to the border, where we met the train that was coming the other way (Hendaye to Lisbon – all passengers had to leave by bus also) and took that train and still arrived on time in Hendaye. It was a little bit scary though seeing the fire on both sides of the highway (A25)… But in the end, it all ended well… And we had time for sleeping from 3AM to 10AM so it was ok.

In Hendaya we still had time for lunch (there are patisseries just outside the train station) and still to wander a bit in the sea  bay in “Port de Caneta”, which is in walkable distance. It was sunny so it was a really nice walk.

Then, high speed train, just on time, at 13:18 PM we left from Hendaya to Paris. Really confortable train, with wireless connection and great bathrooms so it was very comfortable. We arrived in Paris at 18:08 PM, just as scheduled, in Gare de Montparnasse.

So in total: 13 hours in train from Lisbon to Hendaye and 5 hours in the train from Hendaye to Paris – 18 hours in total. Total trip + 2 hours waiting in Hendaye – so 20 hours in total. We spent 29 Euros each for Lisbon-Hendaye reservation with the Inter rail pass and 10 Euros each from Hendaye to Paris – so in total 39 euros each plus lunch for 5,40 Euros both in a Patisserie.

Was it worth it? We had already been trough flights from Lisbon to Paris and of course it is cheaper (if you count with the regular train ticket, without the Inter rail pass it would cost you about 224 Euros) and faster, but actually we found it to be surprisingly comfortable and different doing it by train. We had time to sleep, see the views, see a bit of Hendaye and arrive on time at Paris. We of course wouldn’t do it in a weekend trip, but if you have time… give it a try!