Tweets by Paliparan editor-in-chief Koen. Trains & planes, travel news, reviews, trip reports, ticketing tricks and personal thoughts on travel and the world.
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Sep 5 • 302 tweets • >60 min read
With 2 weeks validity left on my 3-month Interrail pass it's time for one last trip this summer: From Romania to Scotland by train! Am a bit sad kissing the kitties goodbye, but here we go for the first leg, which can only be the Dacia night train to Vienna..
There she is! Naturally, I managed to get one of the few en-suite compartments in this sleeper wagon..
Jul 21 • 141 tweets • 102 min read
The main reason why I bought my Interrail pass is that I had 2 trips planned this summer (wedding and family visit) and I wanted to do them all the way by train. Today is the first! Sad to kiss the cats goodbye, but they are in good hands and this will be a fun trip hopefully..
So let's travel from the Danubian lands to the Rhineland! Train number one on this trip is of course the Dacia sleeper train from Bucharest Gara de Nord to Vienna.. Here you can see the train being shunted into the terminus station, also having some through cars to Cluj added..
Jul 9 • 16 tweets • 7 min read
Great overview of the most recent developments in the tri-nation border area between Ukraine, Moldova and Romania - which will hopefully give Ukraine a lot more options to export grain and other crops.
Do have a read in Arnold's thread if you haven't as it has lots of interesting details about transport specifics - both remarkable resilience of national governments and some big practical challenges still remaining. This one on rail is interesting IMO.
Little thread about Moldova/Transnistria given recent events happening. For those who haven't caught up with recent news, there were some explosions at government buildings in Transnistria..
A few days earlier, a Russian General (Rustam Minnekaev) talked about creating a "land bridge to Transnistria". What followed is a lot of panic - not among Moldovans, but mostly among western Twitterati, pundits and politicians.
Bucharest Gara de Nord. Time for a little trip to our southern neighbours: Bulgaria! The first train of the day will take me to Ruse, located just across the border at the other side of the Danube.
These #CFR Desiro trains surely give an excellent first impression of Romania to international travellers coming into the country - if they can see something of it through the windows that is. Can someone at @mtransporturi convince CFR that this is simply unacceptable?
Jan 24 • 94 tweets • 71 min read
So let's pick up my little Twitter travel report on Mariupol & Ukraine! To get to Mariupol from Bucharest, Romania, I travelled 2412km by train, 46km by bus and walked another 4km. If you are curious how the journey looked like, check my thread here:
Morning in Mariupol started with a walk to the Tsentralny Rynok, the central market of the city. The water tower on picture 3 is the main city landmark.
Jan 18 • 98 tweets • 72 min read
Time for a new trip - starting again at Bucharest Gara de Nord. This will be quite an adventure looking at sheer distances alone. If all goes to plan I'll travel 5,200km by train (3,230 miles) - roughly the distance from London to Novosibirsk (Siberia, Russia) or Lagos (Nigeria).
I'm in the night train to Sighetu Marmaţiei in the far northern, remote Romanian province of Maramureş. Or well, these are through carriages attached to the main Baia Mara/Cluj-Napoca train, from which we'll split off at Beclean pe Someş in the wee hours of morning.
Dec 29, 2021 • 49 tweets • 35 min read
Hello from the Intercity Hotel at Hamburg Altona station. An almost 2 hour delay flying into here, but fortunately the kebab shop & Edeka supermarket (for cold beer) were still open. The platforms are eerily empty now, but not tmrw morning when I will take my last trains of 2021.
Goodmorning from Hamburg Altona! The early morning long-distance IC and ICE trains are shunted into this terminus station, including an InterCity train to Berchtesgaden in the Bavarian Alps (the infamous location of Hitler's Eagle's Nest retreat).
Oct 14, 2021 • 74 tweets • 62 min read
Let's escape the unusually dreary Bucharest weather.. another night train adventure is waiting!
I've been on the Satu Mare night train as recently as last July. If you didn't follow along for the ride back then and are curious about this train, the scenery on the route and the sights of the cities of Carei & Satu Mare, check out the thread below.
Goodmorning from a stormy Cefalù! I have one day to explore this beautiful town and one day for the city of Palermo a bit further down the north coast of Sicily.
In case you missed the earlier Twitter threads: I started off this trip visiting beautiful, underrated Turin with its many excellent museums..
Goodmorning from Torino Porta Nuova station! Today I will take two exciting train rides, so get ready for some cool train content and a lot of gorgeous Italian scenery from the window.
This terminus is Turin's main station. Interestingly, it's on a direct axis to the old Savoy Royal Palace just 15 minutes walking to the north. Turin's second main station is the more modern Porta Susa just a short distance away.
Oct 2, 2021 • 44 tweets • 37 min read
Goodmorning from Turin! It will be two busy days ahead as this city is so full of top class sights and museums that it's hard to cram in everything.
First stop: Palazzo Madama, with some fine surroundings, art and all kinds of religious objects and porcelain. If you visit at least 3 museums it's well worth it to buy a two day Turin card for free entry. Green pass is necessary to visit indoor spaces & they're strict about it.
Sep 28, 2021 • 40 tweets • 37 min read
Last weekend I was fortunate enough to spend a few days in lovely Prague, meeting up with old friends, exploring some Czech Art Nouveau beauty and making a fun day trip by train to Olomouc. Little thread!
The Hotel Central where I stayed is an Art Nouveau masterpiece designed by Friedrich Ohmann and built between 1899 and 1902.
Aug 24, 2021 • 90 tweets • 73 min read
Bucharest Airport on summer mornings is sheer madness. Huge queues at check-in almost everywhere, a long wait at security, and of course no fast track lane. Esp. when flying low costs like Wizz Air, or TAROM & other SkyTeam airlines, you are well advised to come 3 hours before.
Fortunately no queue at my check-in desk! Passport control is madness, but fortunately I know a shortcut. Bypass the queue on the right side, and you end up at automated e-gates which barely anyone uses! Time to relax now in the lounge with a coffee, tracking my incoming flight.
Aug 4, 2021 • 36 tweets • 29 min read
Bună ziua from the Dacia, the international train linking Bucharest with Vienna. It's not too crowded, air-con is working. Perfect train for another little domestic trip, as I will get off before we reach the Hungarian border.
After all these years living & travelling to/from 🇷🇴 I finally have the pleasure of a proper CFR @_DiningCar added to my train. Friendly service, fresh salad, filling mixed grill cooked in the kitchen. By no means haute cuisine but I approve! Bottle of white for €6 is nice too.
Jul 20, 2021 • 51 tweets • 37 min read
Bucharest Gara de Nord. Time for another train trip across the country!
I'm on the 6.45pm overnight train to Satu Mare in the north-west of Romania in a private sleeper. The train hasn't even departed yet and the starion board already shows a 15 minute delay - quite typical for CFR in the summer and I expect more delays on the long way north!
Jul 16, 2021 • 32 tweets • 19 min read
After a tiring work week, let's make a little day trip out of the city again. This time I'm on a little Transferoviar train to Slanic, which seems relatively empty compared to the packed trains going to the coast.
We have departed!
Jul 15, 2021 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Another great example of the (un)practicalities of train travel. I'd absolutely love to do a train trip like this, but it takes forever and the costs (can be a tenfold of a budget flight..
Of course, there is a lot of unfair competition (subsidised aeroplane fuel, high costs for rail) - and I'm sure part of it will be tackled by the EU with their 'new green deal'. A level playing field is important, and basic infrastructure is one of the most important gov tasks.
Jul 15, 2021 • 4 tweets • 3 min read
Just to show the scale of the massive #floods in western Europe, here you have the confluence of the rives Our and Sauer (which forms the 🇱🇺 🇩🇪 border). Left, the picturesque view in normal times. Right, a picture made by a family member just minutes ago..
The water level in the River Sauer (called Sûre in French) was 608.1cm at 11.30am. To put it into perspective, the vigilance level is 350cm and alert level is 425cm.
Jun 17, 2021 • 63 tweets • 50 min read
Time to fly again! Destination: Russia. Otopeni Airport is rather empty apart from some disappointed North Macedonia fans heading back to Skopje on a Wizz charter. Unfortunately no Air France for me today (une autre fois, ma chère compagnie aérienne) but a TAROM flight to start.
The current aviation crisis summed up in one picture. It seems like this airport cafe has been closed since the start of the pandemic with all that dust...
May 13, 2021 • 43 tweets • 22 min read
After all the Croatian fun it's time to go home - by train. First up: the EC train to Vienna. To blend in better with the Balkan surroundings, the OeBB carriages even have quite some grafiti on them.
As the scenery during the first few hours is exactly the same as on the Graz-Zidani Most-Zagreb trains on the inbound, I won't post anything and just take a nap. Below is a thread what you can expect to see if you take this journey, in case you missed it.