OPENINGSo I'm sure most of us here agree on how we travel to some degree. Otherwise we wouldn't be here.
For us, we want to avoid flying. In doing so, we're prepared to accept a slower pace and longer journey time to get to our destination.
However, the realities of life dictate that a balance must be struck. Our thoughts on the matter are, longer journey times should not:
- add unnecesary need for more leave from work.
- involve excessively long waits at transport hubs.
- be so arduous that it is unenjoyable.
- be significantly more expensive than flying.
- taking 1.5days to get to a 3day holiday is about the limit of our endurance.
- However, we could accept 2.5days travel for a fortnight's holiday.
- waiting 4.5hours for a train, having disembarked a ferry at midnight is unreasonable.
- However, we like about a 30min transfer time to allow for small delays and discrepancies in arrival/departure times.
- in my mind, paying 100€ more for surface travel over flying is worth it. Even if it takes an extra day. So long as the travel is smooth and not arduous.
- We prefer three long legs of an itinerary rather than 8 short hops.
CASE IN POINTWe have an upcoming trip planned, an extended weekend in Amsterdam. Our parameters for the trip are as follows:
- We should arrive an depart at around the same time as flying would permit. This is so that we are not detracting from the trip sgnficantly.
- Further days of leave should be kept to a minimum.
- Cost and stress should too be minimised.
- 0635-0730 home-DUBLINPORT
- 0815-1150 dublinport-HOLYHEAD (0730-1130 swift, 0805-1130 ulysses).
- 1445-2109 holyhead-HARWICH (2030-2215)
- 2300-0800 harwich-HOEKVH
- 0841-1040 hoekvh-AMSTERDAM
On the return, the best we found was:
- 1804-2011 amsterdam-HOEKVH.
- 2200-0515 hoekvh-HARWICH
- 0625-0648 harwich-MANNINGTREE
- 0655-0758 manningtree-LIVERPOOLST
- 0807-0816 liverpoolst-EUSTON
- 0902-1250 euston-HOLYHEAD
- 1445-1800 holyhead-DUBLINPORT
CLOSINGSurely, there can be better transport links made in both the physical sense and the scheduling sense. We see it so much. StenaLine promote 'sail&rail' prices, yet there is no clear connection between the ferries one side of Britain and the other side. In Ireland, neither the seaports nor airports are well connected. Buses and trains run between Belfast and Dublin and Rosslare. However, none run to the airports in these locations.
If we wished to fly from Belfast and return via Shannon, it would involve trying to connect from Belfast airport to Belfast bus-station or get to the inter-county bus from Galway. None of it is as fluid as it should be.
Any ideas, tips or discussion on the matter ?