Day 14: Geneva/Paris (25 Mar) #1

A/N: The draft for this particular post had been ready for the past week, but I simply had no time to finish it up or to write more, with exams right over the horizon. However, now that I’m stuck awake, sleepless at 2am in the morning due to a particularly aggravating case of an upset stomach, what better time is there to finish things off?

Time flies, and it’s already the 25th, another 5 more days to the end of this journey. Anyway, I’ll be travelling the Geneva-Paris leg on the TGV Lyria operated by SNCF out of Geneva Cornavin station to Paris Gare de Lyon.


  • Travel Class: First Class
  • Fare Class: Non-Flex
  • Service: Lyria 9768
  • Rolling Stock: TGV POS
  • Seat Type: Table Seat
  • Seat: Coach 11, Seat 53

Again, due to the very slight difference between First and Second Class in this booking, I elected to travel in First, though there would be no meal served onboard as it was an early train, departing at 9:41 am and arriving at 12:49 pm. However, a major motivation in me booking first class was access to the SBB lounge in Geneva (I’m generally a lounge-nut). Sadly, a few days after my booking, news drifted over that SBB was shutting down the lounge due to the lack of usage. Figures.

As my Swiss Travel Pass expired yesterday, getting from my place at the Rue de Gautier required me to buy a TPG 1 hour ticket for 3 CHF to hitch a ride on the No. 25 bus back to Cornavin. Those tickets are available from the many orange TPG ticket machines around the city. There were some pretty interesting stories regarding fare evasion and the TPG floating around on the net, so I didn’t want to chance it. Theoretically though, I could leg it from my place to the station, no problem. But heh, I’m lazy.


I arrived at the Cornavin station relatively early, at around half-past eight. I did poke around in a few corners, though I didn’t really find anything of interest. Being unfamiliar with the protocols before boarding trains bound for France (I did know that both Switzerland and France are part of Schengen), I elected to head for the platform a little earlier.

When I got to the platform entrance though, it was a pretty confusing scene. Gaining access to the platform requires one to walk into a rather hidden doorway, past a myriad of small offices that I would assume once upon a time held border control agents and up a ramp. There was quite a line there, so I assumed that security or border controls were in effect. Thankfully, my assumptions were wrong.

That’s some interesting art on the walls right there.

There wasn’t much to say for the time I spent on the platform. I basically milled around until the train pulled in, on time, as always.

Yup, that’s her. 9768 to Gare de Lyon.

Finding my seat though, wasn’t as harried as the time I had with Thalys in Brussels. My seat was on the left side of the train, though it is an aisle seat, not a window seat as I would’ve liked. Seated opposite me was a gentleman which from some of his papers, I presumed that was quite the art enthusiast.

Right after I was seated, an attendant came around offering newspapers. After the train got moving, another one came by offering bread, then drinks, then fruits, snacks and another round of drinks, then a chocolate biscuit. Though I don’t think it holds a candle to an actual meal, it is a pretty nice replacement.

I opted for a small croissant, tomato juice, an orange, chips and a can of Coke.
The headrest on a first class seat.

I really dig the paint scheme of the Lyria trains though. The red/purple on white looks good, similar yet distinctive from the SBB scheme. The first class cabin had a predominantly grey theme, a stark contrast to that of Thalys trains. However, the seat is quite comfortable, not new though but hey, at least the headrest isn’t broken. *wink wink nudge nudge*

Next up: The City of Lights! (when I actually have time to write it)


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