10. France-Spain High Speed

Special Agent, let’s play a game. Today you’re travelling from Barcelona to Paris, two of Europe’s most popular cities. It’s actually quite the scenic ride. I have a list of some of the things you can spot on your journey, let’s see how many you can tick off. The six & a half hour adventure on board the TGV Duplex train (a double decker) is ready to depart from Barcelona’s Sants station.

Not far into the trip, as the train travels between Girona in Spain and Perpignan in France, you look out the window and then reach for your camera. There it is, the sacred Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees. Tick!

Shortly after passing Perpignan, you spot the Fort de Salses, the magnificent 15th century Catalan fortress. It was captured in 1642 by the French and remained theirs since. Tick!

In France, there are countless vineyards in sight. You begin daydreaming of that indulgent French holiday, nestled into a Chateau, watching as a hot air balloon passes by. Tick!

Staring out to sea, the train travels around the shimmering waters of the Mediterranean coast. Tick!

For a moment you had to think about which continent you are on. As you pass the many étangs, or lakes, you spot flocks of Pink Flamingos. Not something you were expecting to see in southern France. Tick!

The train crosses the River Orb after passing through Béziers Station, and you get a great view of the remarkable Béziers 13th century cathedral. Tick!

It's lunchtime now so you decide to stretch your legs and head to the bar car for a hot coffee & a baguette. Double tick!!

Ahead, between Nîme and Valence, the train travels across the River Rhone, where the Chateau de Montfaucon can be seen, a large wine-producing estate rich in history, dating back to the 11th century. Tick!

From South of Lyon you travel through the Rhône Valley, a region with many pretty villages. Tick!

Well done, your list is complete.

In the countryside from Lyon to Paris, the train travels at almost 300kms/h. You take this time to try and get another clue to bring you closer to the missing Golden Ticket. Next on your list to speak to is Amy. You locate her in the lower deck and interrupt as she listens to a podcast, to ask if she has any memory of chatting to the thief on the night the Golden Ticket went missing. “Yes, they said they would have to get used to the opposite seasons where they were headed”. 

Special Agent, you’ve probably lost count of how many times you’ve been to Paris now (I know, it’s tough but someone has to do it), because from Paris you can connect to just about anywhere in Europe. Au revoir!

What now?

  • Take our France-Spain High Speed quiz and go into the draw to win 2 x Eurail Global Passes (one for you & one of a travel companion) valued at $2194, to be drawn on 2nd June 2020*. 
  • Read the previous story & complete the quiz (if you haven't already) so you're in with a chance to win a famil.
  • Check if you were the winner of the 'Al Andalus' quiz.
  • Put all the clues you have uncovered together so far and see if you can narrow down the location of the missing ticket. Get your colleagues on board. 

Take the quiz

Terms & conditions:

Conditions of quiz: Complete the France-Spain High Speed quiz to be in the draw for 1 x Eurail Prize pack containing 2 x Eurail Global Passes, 15 Days in 2 months, 1st Class, Adult, one for the winner and one for a travel companion. Winner to be drawn on 2nd June 2020. *Competition is open to registered travel agents in Australia & New Zealand, except FCTG agents who are not eligible for a prize. If the winner drawn is a FCTG agent, the winner will be redrawn. Prizes cannot be exchanged or redeemed for cash. Prizes cannot be transferred to a different name. Both passes must be redeemed at the same time. The winner must be still employed in the tourism industry when travelling. Passes must be issued by 10th December 2022. A start date within 11 months of issue to be provided at the time of redemption. Seat reservations and associated costs are not included. Eurail Passes cannot be used by residents of Europe, the United Kingdom, Turkey and the Russian Federation. Booking fees may apply. Winner agrees to Rail Europe using their first & last name and agency details, plus image on request, for PR & marketing related use. Offer is subject to change.

France-Spain High Speed Routes

  • Barcelona <> Paris
  • Barcelona <> Toulouse
  • Barcelona <> Lyon
  • Barcelona <> Marseille
  • Madrid <> Marseille
  • more

All the above routes can be done in the reverse direction