Last time my Mother came to stay, on the morning of her departure I was awoken at 5am in the morning by the sound of her pacing heels clicking up and down on the parquet floor outside our bedroom. We did not have to set off for the airport until 7 am but she was anxious. Not of flying but the general process that modern travel now entails. She comes from a different age, an age where terrorism was not a threat to travellers, dressing up to travel was the norm (as in her words "you never know who you might meet" to this day my Mother always looks fabulous when she travels and when I have travelled, following my Mothers example, I have nearly always been upgraded). Where along with a handbag, ladies also carried a vanity case as hand luggage, filled with necessary toiletries, cosmetics, medicines, jewellery and fresh lingerie, for freshening up on route or just in case the checked luggage did not turn up at the intended destination. It was an age when the comfort and well being of passengers was equally as important as the profits. Now frankly my Mother finds the whole process stressful. Nowadays you have to pay an awful lot of money to get the kind of service and courtesy's that previous generations expected as the norm. For example one UK airport now charges £2.00 to all cars merely dropping off or picking up relatives and friends outside the airport terminal, regardless of how brief the stay is, I dare say other airports will soon follow suit.
When one was travelling for pleasure the journey used to be as important as the destination but today it's all about the destination. Necessary but stringent airport security, the advent of low cost travel, increasing travelling populations, a general drop in standards and cuts due to the current economic climate all have to be factored in. I don't think many of us get excited about the journey any more.
It's no wonder so many of us get nostalgic about how it used to be, especially rail travel, my last UK train experience was expensive and dire.
Sweethearts embrace, Britain, WWII
Of course there are ways to make todays travel experience more palatable, thanks to the internet, most of us are in charge of our own travel arrangements, we can shop around for the best deals, check up on the latest security requirements and with careful and cunning packing can beat low cost airlines extremely stingy baggage allowances. I do recommend dressing well but comfortably because you just never no who you may meet or when you might be upgraded.
For the nostalgic amongst us there are still opportunities for glamorous travel, if you have deep pockets the Orient Express is still number one for luxurious travel to beautiful destinations.
The Poppy Line
In Norfolk, Britain you can relive the past and take a very reasonably priced nostalgic trip on a vintage steam train on the Poppy Line, over stunning countryside, you can even dress up in vintage as amongst other things they hold a 1940's weekend and period murder, mystery events.
Le Train Bleu
And my particular favourite would have to be lunch or dinner at Le Train Bleu at the Gare de Lyon in Paris, it's the full glamour, old world travel experience whether your catching a train or not.
If your travelling this weekend, by any means, I wish you Bon Voyage.