Thursday, 12 June 2014

Not travelling light

Regular readers will know that I try to encourage you all to travel light, especially when you are flying to your holiday destination. Unless you are going for a long holiday, it is perfectly feasible to board your plane with just a carry-on bag containing all your holiday clothes, which I have done on numerous occasions.

I have created several holiday capsules, which have just 10 items of clothing (plus undies, accessories etc). I usually like to practise what I preach, however I have a confession to make: this afternoon we are going away for one week's holiday, but I'm not travelling light!

These are the clothes that I will be packing shortly:

On the left you can see my Sloan-fit petite navy trousers from Banana Republic with a sleeveless top (also BR) and a Wallis blouse, which I will be wearing for dinner in the evening.  On the right there's a black and white Mango jacket and two pairs of Lands End linen trousers. The jacket is for cooler days and for going out at night, whilst the linen trousers are for walking around the various cities that we will be visiting. In the centre you should be able to count eight tops, as we are going to be away for a total of eight days and I'm not sure how easy it will be to wash clothes on the train. The tops are from a variety of brands including Gap (navy top), Jacqueline Riu (red sleeveless top), Whistles (black), Mango (navy and white stripes), M&S (pink), and Phase 8 (polka dots). As we are travelling by train and not flying, I am taking a fairly large suitcase for this holiday, so I am indulging myself for once.

I also plan to take my new polka dot dress - here it is in case you've forgotten what it looks like! I'm expecting to dress up for dinner on at least three evenings, so I will also be packing a smart pair of shoes, some jewellery and a clutch bag.

In case you haven't realised, I am very excited about this holiday.  John decided to treat us both to a luxury train trip from León to Santander in northern Spain for the last of his 70th birthday celebrations. We will be catching a train from Alicante to León via Madrid on Friday morning, but we are spending tonight in Alicante (we have an appointment with our tax adviser first thing on Friday!) so tomorrow will be the first day of our trip. I will be wearing the blue linen trousers, red sleeveless top and navy cascade cardigan (not shown) when we leave home, plus one of my two pairs of Decathlon ballerina walking shoes. The other pair will be in the suitcase so I can alternate my walking shoes, especially as I'm hoping it will be warm in northern Spain!

We will be spending one night in Madrid on our way home. We have been told there is lots to see in Santander and we only have one half day there on the train trip, so we will be spending a few more hours in Santander before catching a later train back to the Spanish capital.  One option for the return journey to Alicante was to go via Valencia, which we decided to go for. I'm delighted to say that I'm meeting a facebook friend Joanna and her husband in Valencia, as we have several hours there between trains, which should be fun.

Have you ever been on a special train journey?  If so, where did you go?


  1. Never been on a train journey--just short trips--and I'm excited for you! I'd love to do that one day. My mom took the Amtrak from the West Coast back east and said they went through the beautiful Rocky Mountains--at night! She got to see the flat wheat fields instead. Let us know what it's like, please.

    1. What a disappointment that must have been for her. I'd love to see the Rocky Mountains. I always get a thrill when we fly over the Pyrenees and can see the mountains. I'm writing a couple of posts about our trip for this blog and, when I have time, I plan to write a longer account for my other blog Spain Uncovered.

  2. Your trip sounds very exciting. My husband works for the Railways, so we get free travel. Our first trip was our honeymoon to Adelaide. 3 trains in 3 days( each State has a different gauge). Each State had scenery of a different green. Yellowish in N.S.W., Blue/green in lush Victoria and Greyed green in South Australia ( wine country). Train travel is SO relaxing. You just get on and everything is done for you. We have met some lovely fellow travellers. I hope you do ,too.
    Thanks for the tip about a dash of synthetic in the linen. I will give it a go in Winter. May be a little warm for Summer.
    Cheers, Judy

    1. Judy, you are so right about how relaxing train travel is, especially when it's a special trip like this one. Funnily enough we met a really lovely guy called David, who comes from Sydney, and had a similar sense of humour. The other passengers were good fun too, however most of them were Spanish speaking so we didn't understand everything that they said.

  3. Your trip sounds wonderful, Sue! I have been on many train trips, mostly in Europe when I was in my 20s, and a Eurail pass for a month or two was a cheap way to travel everywhere.

    Your question about a special train trip, however, reminded me of the 9-hour excursion on Peru's Orient Express train, from Lake Titicaca to Cuzco, that my husband and I took in 2006. The train is called the Andean Explorer but is owned by Orient Express, and was everything you'd imagine it would be from white linen table cloths to exquisite gourmet food, and amazing service from smartly uniformed professional attendants. It was also affordable (because it was in Peru) so it was our one-and-only chance to take an Orient Express style journey!

    The longest train journey I ever took was a 38-hour marathon from Vienna to Greece, traveling through what was then Yugoslavia. That trip was decidedly NOT an Orient Express-style experience!

    I can see you will look great during your extended birthday celebration journey---have a wonderful trip!!


    1. My first longish train journey was an overnight train from Germany to Salzburg with my godfather and his family, which was a 19th birthday treat. He had taken his car on the train so we then drove through the former Yugoslavia to Greece. That was one of my most memorable holidays and over 45 years later I still have lovely memories, though sadly no photos.