I can’t tell you much about the scenery on this train journey, as we were going so fast I barely saw any of it. I was on a TGV after a night in Strasbourg heading to Paris in July 2016 near the end of my 40th birthday trip.

I had a first class ticket (20 euros more than standard, more leg room and at seat paid food service) and settled down in my comfortable seat, stretched my legs as the train speeded up to break-neck speeds. This was on the newly-opened TGV-Est high-speed line linking Paris with Eastern France and South West Germany. I clocked the on-board information screen showing us travelling at 317 km/h – we really were rocketing along.

Only a little over two hours after leaving Strasbourg – right on the German border – the train slowed as it passed the expanse of the Paris suburbs before arriving bang on time at Gare de L’Est.

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