Train Ticket Sellers Lie

Geneva Travel Blog

 › entry 7 of 28 › view all entries
On Tuesday I stopped at the train station in Lausanne to reserve my seats on the TGV both to and from Monaco.  Unfortunately, both of the trains that I wanted to take were full, the woman told me.  I then had to book not-so-convenient times, both of which meant much less time on the TGV and much more time on the slower trains.  not fun.  This also meant I wouldn't get into Monaco until 1 am.

With those revised plans, on Wednesday morning I went to Nyon because that's where the person with whom I was staying in Lausanne works.  I saw the UEFA building (where he works) -- what I think is the last of all of the soccer buildings for this trip (though not the last of the sport federations).  UEFA is *right* on Lake Geneva -- even more so than the IOC Museum!  It's also mostly windows so that you could get easily distracted from work and stare out at the lake.  At least, that's what I would do if I worked there.

I left Nyon and headed to Geneva.  The joys of not being 26 anymore is that you have to pay in full for a eurorail pass, though it allows you to travel 1st class.  While I didn't use it earlier in Switzerland, I decided to take full advantage of my new fancy travel arrangements.  I definitely don't want to go back to 2nd class (though the TGV don't seem to have plugs, which almost makes me long for the DeutscheBahn).  I arrived at the Geneva train station just before 1 pm -- and the train I had wanted to take was scheduled to leave at 1:36 pm.  I waited in line at the ticket counter, and luckily I got a guy who spoke English.  I asked if it was possible to get on the earlier train rather than the one for which I had a ticket.  I had been told it was full, but I'd be willing to switch seats based on when people leave between stops.  He then explained to me that they only reserve a few seats for Eurorail pass holders, and that they sell out weeks in advance.  I begged, emphasizing the part where I'm a girl traveling alone and that arriving at 1 am does not make me happy.  Plus, I mentioned how my Eurorail pass is for 1st class.  The guy relented and said I would have to pay another 5 Swiss Francs to take the earlier train, that I'd lose the 5 CHF that I had already paid.  While Switzerland may be expensive, I could manage to give up 5 CHF.

The moral of the story -- the trains really aren't "full" when the ticket people tell you they are.  try to get on the one you want anyways.  There were definitely plenty of open seats on my train -- all the way from Geneva to Nice!  Sometimes, though, I wondered what I was actually for since the TGV doesn't go very fast in some areas, especially  when it's all the way down along the coast.
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photo by: DADKA