TT-ONR-NRN critiques...

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by TT-ONR-NRN, 3 Jan 2018.

  1. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    I think he means "invest". ;)
     
  2. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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  3. eastwestdivide

    eastwestdivide Established Member

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    No apologies needed! Treacherous thing, language.
    Going wildly off topic, a language joke:
    Q: How many translators does it take to change a lightbulb?
    A: Well, it depends on the context.

    Normal service will be resumed when our intrepid 1st class explorer checks back in.
     
  4. backontrack

    backontrack Established Member

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    Also, what's a Cloudy Vee?
     
  5. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Shouldn't be too long anyway I think the next one's due out on the 16th :)
     
  6. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    I'm assuming he's referring to a Cloudy Vienna perhaps which VTEC also serve. It's like a spiced apple juice. :)
     
  7. backontrack

    backontrack Established Member

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    I googled it and got the Austrian weather forecast. :|
     
  8. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Ha ha! Google is wonderful isn't it? :lol:
     
  9. backontrack

    backontrack Established Member

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    Yeah :lol:
     
  10. TT-ONR-NRN

    TT-ONR-NRN On Moderation

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    I’ll write it now for you :)
     
  11. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Ha ha. I remember in Spanish lessons in school we got told "lo siento" means "I'm sorry". When I made friends with some Spanish speaking friends they said that is a phrase you would use if someone's grandmother had died or something like that. Not "Sorry I bumped in to you". That would be "Desculpa me".
     
  12. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Cheers, but there's no rush! :)
     
  13. Dhassell

    Dhassell Member

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    Sounds like you had a great time!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 14 Apr 2018
  14. TT-ONR-NRN

    TT-ONR-NRN On Moderation

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    I did, thanks :)
     
  15. TT-ONR-NRN

    TT-ONR-NRN On Moderation

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    ÖBB Eurocity - First Class

    All photos my own
    It’s a day early, sorry about that!

    Travelled: April 2018

    Where: Verona Porta Nuova to Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof

    Stock: Taurus Locomotive and corresponding carriages

    Good day. How are we all? Chill? If so grab your popcorn and let me entice you to the Austrian Alps... :D

    Let’s set the scene at Verona. I wait on the platform for my Austrian Eurocity train which is going to take me slowly across the border to snowy Innsbruck (where I continue my journey by RailJet).

    Twenty minutes later and delayed, a beautiful Taurus screeches in, dragging it’s corresponding carriages behind it. It’s an OBB Eurocity train, bound for Munich, I think it was, and I’m booked in a compartment.

    The train is nice inside, here are the six person compartments of first class:

    1A0C2B34-0680-400F-A177-7BEB7D044718.jpeg AF880CA3-E9DB-42A2-9420-DDB3AD5A4F47.jpeg

    You can also get four person ones with a table where the middle seat is in the six seat ones. I went for a six seater though because the train was empty. Meaning no strangers coming into your compartment. So you can stretch out... :p

    Here is the corridor. Reminds me of sleeper trains! :)

    8EFDE571-F82F-40C8-B776-299F2908F09D.jpeg

    You can charge your phone (might need a foreign adapter though).

    4D1E3DBD-B005-4282-8872-E5D9C57ACC32.jpeg

    You can control the air con, heating and lighting of the compartment while travelling.

    C84E961E-1168-42E7-A1E9-1E30FA82037E.jpeg

    Or if you have a first class ticket and don’t fancy a compartment then you can always take a seat in the saloon?

    FF6963AF-20CD-42D3-9724-E57C6866D633.jpeg

    We jerked out of Verona about half an hour late, surprisingly smoothly. The scenery of the Italian/Austrian alps is very nice actually. The ride quality of these older carriages is actually pretty good, not too bumpy!

    After approximately two or three hours called at Bolzano/Bozen which is seen below.
    SORRY FOR THE GUY WHO STOOD IN THE WAY!

    F2C91A87-7F13-4B08-9846-CE39A6DD5DDA.jpeg

    Here a load of men with GUNS got on board the train. But don’t worry, they were police officers. Italian officers are armed. That’s just the way it is.

    Now I’d been up since 5:30am, and as I am not a morning person I was exhausted. So I stretched out across the three compartments with my headphones plugged in and chilled for a bit. The scenery as you enter Austria is pretty sick actually, if it wasn’t for the ten photo limit you’d be seeing a lot more of it!

    E929D98B-5946-4B1D-B6C4-2BB06EB26C3F.jpeg

    All of a sudden, SHOCK HORROR!!
    No, none of the policeman’s guns went off;
    No, the train didn’t overturn.
    WORSE.
    My... my... MY MOBILE DATA RAN OUT!!!!

    And to make matters worse, the promised Wi-Fi on OBB.com...

    WAS NON EXISTENT!!!

    After I’d recovered from the mini silent inward panic attack^ about having no Wi-Fi (very annoyed about that, especially when they promised me it) I just decided to make the best of things and write out my critique of Frecciarossa Executive Class which I did in Apple iNotes. Yes that’s right people, that critique you read last week was written in Austria :D

    And soon ladies and gentlemen my journey did sadly come to a halt at Innsbruck, where a mini buffet of banana chips and pretzels (long story) were enjoyed in the OBB Lounge. More on that next week though, when I critique OBB RailJet first class!


    MY OPINIONS:
    I’m happy about the three different types of accommodation that can be used with a first class ticket. Four person compartment, six person compartment, saloon.

    The saloon seating is without a doubt the most comfortable and I did specify my reservation in the saloon - but ÖBB booked me in a compartment! However, while the seats are a little harder and the recline a little awkward, this six seater compartment turned out to be great as no strangers came in, so I could relax in the ultimate privacy and stretch out in my own space.

    I was irritated that the promised Wi-Fi didn’t show up. Hey - don’t scoff at me, I’m a very typical 21st century teenage boy dudes. Football, iPhone, sleeping in late, girls, partying, Wi-Fi. :D That’s all that matters to your average teen, never mind the view of the Alps! :lol: Including moi, so yes I admit my eyes were on my phone more of the time than the snowy mountains outside. Oh c’mon, I’m a Canuck, I’ve seen snow enough times! ;)

    So yeah the lack of Wi-Fi hosed me off a bit, I won’t lie but while I do like my internet I’m not quite as sad as to let a lack of it ruin my journey haha - all I’m saying is don’t waste most of your data three days before when you’re on a Class 165 with dreadful connection. You’ll need it on the ÖBB Eurocity!

    Also, feed yourself before, or come with food or money. Don’t expect freebies! However, this rather nice restaurant car (ÖBB have ditched the Henrys brand) is a pleasant place to enjoy a meal, even if it may set you back €8.50 for a sandwich...

    6A29A721-CB69-4DAD-A503-9EF9BB04BA27.jpeg

    So yeah. That’s me done. Hope you didn’t find dat too shabby. If you thought it was OK maybe check out my upcoming critiques, non?

    And sorry I didn’t keep to the schedule! Except I did actually. The dates on the schedule I posted were DEADLINES, the latest possible date. So often these reviews may come out before the date specified.


    Here are the next three.

    ÖBB RailJet First Class
    Innsbruck - Salzburg &
    Salzburg - Vienna:
    20TH APRIL

    WednesdayTipsNTruth: Is Business Class on ÖBB RailJet worth the extra over First? 25TH APRIL

    Czech RegioJet Business Class
    Vienna - Prague 4TH MAY

    Followed by CD Eurocity and DB ICE Business and First Classes.

    The reviews should be out on those dates if not earlier. Almost certainly not later though so I’ll see you then and until next time:

    - Slide the compartment door closed.

    - Kick your runners off and make yourself comfy.

    - Recline (Or just lie across all three seats like I did :lol:.)

    And chill.
    Lates :p8-)

    ^Don’t worry this was only a hopefully humorous addition. No panic attacks will ever really be suffered by me, so long as you keep me away from Bognor Regis :D :lol: I do like my Wi-Fi though (c’mon dudes, who doesn’t?!)
     
  16. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Sacrilege :lol:

    No bad, ta ;)

    The Taurus do look and sound very impressive, a sort of modern-day European 91 but in the style of an 89.

    Very nice, those seats look comfy! I wish we still had at least First Class compartments, even if it was one out of 2 or 3 coaches in long-distance trains.

    I hope you took your shoes off ;)
    Very like the Caledonian Sleeper.

    So you should be! ;) Bolzano/Bozen has a very Swiss look to it, reminiscent of Canton Graubunden; very nice 8-)

    They generally seem quite friendly in general in spite of this; twice had to ask directions in Rome and they were more than happy to oblige!
    Maybe, you should have got a Sleeper then? :rolleyes: The scenery in Austria is definitely in the league of Switzerland, much of Italy, southern France and the Scottish Highlands, stunningly scenic. :)

    Also, there's only 9 photos ;)

    I know the feeling, and I sympathise! :frown:

    Intriguing, we're the banana chips any good? :lol:

    I like the fact they have such a choice, I suppose saloon gives better all-round views but I like that old-fashioned cosiness of a compartment. :)

    *Scoff* ;) but no, I know what you mean. Generally I prefer rolling hills and mountains minus the snow, maybe a glen and waterfall or two scenery wise. I think recently we've all seen snow enough times.

    Very nice, but €8.50 for a sannie, dear God o_O Still while not cheap, the food on European railways restaurants seems to be of good quality, it was in Switzerland and Italy.

    Not too shabby at all, sounded like a very enjoyable trip through some fantastic scenery (some of the time ;)).

    Any idea which version of the ICE?
    Look forward to it :)

    Carefully avoiding hitting other passengers I hope! :lol:

    Well I've been in the freezer much of the day so I'm pretty chilled. :lol:

    So we can expect a critiquing of a trip down to Bognor soon then? ;););)

    Anyway, sounds like you had a great time, mate :D
     
  17. TT-ONR-NRN

    TT-ONR-NRN On Moderation

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    Ace aren’t they.

    Um why? :lol: I did actually lol. Leant against the carriage wall and relaxed across all three seats.


    Switzerland is the nicest of Europe by far. But for the best views in the world, take’rr to Jasper eh? ;)

    There was a tenth of my legs across all three seats to show what a long sofa they made when put together, but I found it so embarrassing I begged Mr Ainsworth74 to remove it, which he kindly did for me. :lol:

    Find out soon ;)

    True dat but I like it to myself. Rather a saloon seat than a compartment with strangers.

    I mean, imagine if one of the ither passengers was like Atomic Train Host?! :lol: Or The Plumpy of Pompy, I need to tell you about that one, Ryan brought her up yesterday.

    Thanks it was. :)


    3 :)

    Coolio thanks.

    I won’t go into one of my infamous “Ztories” but I have one about that... was Ryan telling you about DartShrieker? :lol:


    Um. Congrats? :lol:


    Not bad thanks bro. :) My favourite was probably RegioJet. I’m not gonna be able to wait long to publish that so you might get it early.
    Goodbye, hexagon789 ;)
     
  18. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Nice if the next installment it is early, but don't rush, quality over quickness. :lol:
     
  19. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Great read. I love the Alps, my favourite scenery in any part of the world.
     
  20. TT-ONR-NRN

    TT-ONR-NRN On Moderation

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    That’s nice of you to say, thank you! :)

    The Alps are nice yes! I like the Swiss ones especially.
     
  21. eastwestdivide

    eastwestdivide Established Member

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    Yes, the Italian border - I've seen armed border police board a train for Italy at Brig (Switzerland), paying very close attention to some Americans and their documents. All very polite, but the Americans thought they were being singled out ("profiled" as they said), and weren't too happy about it.
     
  22. TT-ONR-NRN

    TT-ONR-NRN On Moderation

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    ÖBB RailJet - First Class


    Travelled: April 2018

    Where: Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof to Vienna Hauptbahnhof

    Stock: Taurus Locomotive and corresponding RailJet carriages

    Good afternoon. Today I cover a train which has always been an ambition of mine, partly because of it’s musical traction, partly because of the scenery outside, partly because of the comfortable black leather.

    Yes, it is the ÖBB RailJet. A train which I have for quite a while now wanted to travel on. Today I review the first class product, and on Wednesday next week find out if an upgrade to business class is worth paying for!

    So, ladies and gentlemen, I start my journey in the snow-topped mountains of Innsbruck, a picturesque location to the far West of Austria. The beautiful sounding Taurus locomotive I am about to board will see me head east, along the German border to the attractive city of Salzburg, famous for being the city in which the Sound of Music is set.

    Taking a sharp turn north-east, I travel alongside streams of crystal and white topped peaks through Linz and Saint Polten, before concluding my journey in the transport hub of Vienna.

    So, without further ado, we set our scene in Innsbruck. A picturesque city filled with beautful snowy mountains and even more beautiful trams :D

    But I’m not skiing, nor am I Flexity Swift Bashing, no - I find myself at the ÖBB First Class Lounge, where my journey starts. This is the lounge:

    C7D89520-581D-4532-B7C6-B332082A1FBA.jpeg 7CE710ED-D50C-4465-B1EB-EB8ADE951787.jpeg 094B2EC0-A0EC-450F-9FA1-E46E23B1F0BE.jpeg

    It’s very modern both inside and outside. That’s good for me, can’t be bothered doing with boring old fashioned stuff. Once I had presented my ticket to the attractive brunette behind the desk, Having not eaten since 8am (it now being 5pm), I made my way to the mini buffet that was available. It was really... different! Totally different from your average lounge offering, and nice too, if a little odd...

    Banana chips, dates, pretzels, nuts, dried peas, ricecakes, raisins, oatcakes and weirdly shaped sponge cakes...

    (Has Austria gone vegan?!)

    I shovelled a few pretzels and banana chips onto my plate and, um, “enjoyed” (?) them with a Coke Zero - which was a BOTTLE, not a can! Great stuff. I don’t eat much but I drink a load during journeys so the more Coke in a free serving the better :D

    0C49F833-776D-43B5-BC64-AB05F89AE34B.jpeg 97F5DF31-FCFE-4FB2-BA29-E46B291C0951.jpeg

    Soon, it was time to board the RailJet. The RailJets have three classes of service.

    Economy
    First
    Business

    Surprisingly, Business class is higher than First, unlike on most airlines. I am in First for this review, though on Wednesday we’ll soon see Business too! :D You can decide for yourself whether you feel the upgrade is worth it!

    So this is first class. The seats used in Economy are the same high-back Grammar IC sets as on GWR HSTs and EMT/SR HSTs, in a 2x2 seating layout.

    Now the seats used in First, are the same type of seat but stretched out a bit, so that they are wider. These are used in a 2x1 seating layout and unlike the Economy seats, offer window curtains, recline, leather instead of moquette and at seat dining.

    841A782F-2ED5-405F-82CA-1301E898820F.jpeg EF936F12-1B7E-464E-9F80-BE3B24AB2675.jpeg

    So yes, quite a nice seat. Should you wish to order a meal you can have it brought round as I said. If you’re in Economy, you have to pop here: The on board DON Restaurant. (This is being introduced on all RailJets while the original Henry am Zug Restaurants are being phased out). The Wi-Fi was free and super fast too! Was delighted with that.

    229DF02F-D8B3-44F2-9FEF-745C59385879.jpeg

    A smooth ride through the Alps was enjoyed. The ride quality is great and the seats extremely comfortable. However, seven thirty PM came soon enough. Still two hours or so to go. All I’d eaten since 8am was a few banana chips and a mini pretzel.

    I present to you - the AT SEAT MENU :D

    F7BCB5C3-81EF-4BF1-8CF1-A48B51FC5D54.jpeg

    Which I made use of happily and ordered the Roast Beef with Austrian Beef-infused potato.

    0FDFD4E5-DADD-455F-9263-B8AB79BE9640.jpeg

    It came fairly quickly! The food looked pretty nice too, generous helpings. That looks like one slice of beef but there’s another beneath it. So much better than Virgin West Coast.

    The beef was very pink and tender which was great; the Austrian potato was very nice too, although it had a similar texture to plain mash which I don’t like. I couldn’t manage to eat anymore than half haha, but it was extremely good and a well cooked dish.

    I tell you what I didn’t like though, and that was the side dish that came with it. “Creamed Spinach” they called it. It looked like green goo… it stank like seaweed, and when I dared try a tiny bit, the taste was actually like... well, you know when you’re surfing and suddenly a monster wave causes you to fall off your board and into the sea. And then you end up with a mouth full of seawater. That is EXACTLY what it tasted like. So I left all of that...

    But anyway, the waiter took my plate away and I looked out of my window at the darkening Viennese sky as the train paced softly into Vienna Hauptbahnhof.

    So, my opinions:
    - Lounge offering is weird. Generous as far as variety goes! But weird.

    - Seating is very comfortable and far better than those in Economy. Legroom is very good too.

    - Food of a very good quality. Creamed Spinach made me feel rather ill, but hey ho...

    - Wi-Fi is free, reliable and easy to use too.

    Aw damn I’m afraid that’s all I’ve got time for. But coming up next times:

    WednesdayTipsNTruth: Is Business Class on ÖBB RailJet worth the extra over First? 25TH APRIL

    Followed by:

    Czech RegioJet Business Class

    Ceske Drahy Eurocity First


    These will be out before the deadline on the schedule I originally posted a few weeks ago. Possibly before! Not after.

    So if you wish to read those feel free, but until then:

    - Recline;

    - Don’t eat the green stuff...

    - Make use of the AWESOME (and existant this time) Wi-Fi.

    And chill.
    Rock on 8-)
     
  23. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Great read, would love to give Raijet a go if only in the hope of hearing the Taurus sing to me on board. Ha ha. Looks like a great service. I'd probably be alright with the creamed spinach. Nothing could be worse than the steak tartar I had last time I was in Warsaw. To be fair to the good people of Poland I don't think it is a local dish. I did nearly throw up on my plate though.
     
  24. TT-ONR-NRN

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    Thanks! You can’t hear it from on board sadly. Steak tartar I’ve not heard of but the spinach was revolting!
     
  25. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    They sound so good don't they? :)

    #The Hills are alive...#

    Maybe, not :lol: I'll leave that to Julie Andrews, unless you'd prefer I sang Edelweiss??? :E

    Must visit Salzburg one day, it always looks so beautiful.

    ;)

    Possibly, it's cheaper and more accommodating to have a vegetarian selection? Sounds tasty anyway, but I could go for a sandwich or even an Austrian pastry myself.

    I would've enjoyed them, but would rather have had a coffee, surprised they don't do hot drinks what with Austria being famous for its coffee houses.

    Very nice, presumably a bet better padded than the standard Grammers? The seating area looks nice and bright as well, often you find the lighting is a bit dim in First sometimes.

    Tut tut, no FabJacks? How was the scenery, just more Alpine-y, hilly, green pasture-y stuff?

    Now that's better! Looks pretty tasty, but more Green gloop... o_O

    It must be good if it beats VTWC! ;) But it looks like a decent portion, no dessert though?

    I can't stop laughing at that! But I don't blame you for leaving it. Love the description though, you sound like a restaurant critic there! :D

    At least it's generous in one respect, many lounges seem to be a bit mean it must be said.

    As ever, look forward to them :)

    Sadly not easy to do just now :|

    Duly noted, it looked "interesting" to say the least

    Will do ;)

    Will be doing so tomorrow, at a balmy 1-5C at that 8-)

    #Edelweiss, Edelweiss,
    Every morning you greet me...# :lol:

    A very fine report, must cross Austria off the list soon. Out of Innsbruck, Salzburg and Vienna, is there one you would particularly recommend?

    Basically finely minced raw beef, topped with a raw egg.
     
    Last edited: 20 Apr 2018
  26. TT-ONR-NRN

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    Haha. Salzburg did look nice but actually Innsbruck looked nicer from the train, but hey ho!

    Ooh well the pastries did look quite nice in Austria but it was the strudels that were great! Had some in Vienna.

    They do hot drinks too but why waste a third of my ten pictures on lounge offering. The hot drinks machine was the other side and looked just like any old machine. :)

    Much nicer position than the Standard Grammars too, which I don’t like.

    Alpine-y, hilly, green pasture-y stuff? Yeah, sadly. (Yawn) :lol:

    The green gloop was rank. Too full for dessert I’m afraid!

    A restaurant critic eh? Ooh thanks. I like it :D

    Thanks :)
    Sorry what?

    Out of Innsbruck, Salzburg and Vienna... hmm, it depends what you’re going for.

    And raw mince?! GROSS!!!

    :) Thanks for your comment!
     
  27. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Recline :lol:

    Can't say I like the sound of it either.

    You're welcome, I would've replied last night but I was busy I'm afraid. ;)
     
  28. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    Some great reviews there, of the best country for rail travel IMO.

    There isn't that much in Innsbruck, so I'd say that Salzburg is the better city.
     
  29. TT-ONR-NRN

    TT-ONR-NRN On Moderation

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    Thank you :)
    Austria certainly is nice!
     
  30. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Ah well. Lovely sound. As for the Steak Tartar, I see someone else has described it. Ha ha. Raw minced beef with a raw egg on top, exactly what it is. Now I will try anything but that is just about the only thing I will never go near again. Everything about it, the texture, the flavour, was vile. I never normally do this on my travels but after we left the restaurant I went to a McDonalds for a quick bite to eat once I'd stopped feeling nauseous. Ha ha.
     

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