I really love being involved in putting this blog together and am pleased that more and more people are not only visiting but also enjoying it. One of the main reasons I do it is that I love Auckland and want to see it become an even better place than it it already is, I also know that my fellow bloggers feel the same way. Thanks to all of you, the readership of the blog has increased steadily this year – since March we have continued to set new records, and this month we are on track to break 100,000 views for the first time.

There is a problem though – this time next week both Peter and I will be out of the country as we are away on holidays (not together of course). Peter is off to visit Vancouver for a few weeks, while my wife and I head to Europe for the month of August (trying to escape our milestone birthdays…) Because of this it is going to be very hard for us to keep up our normal volume of posts, so we are looking for your help. We know that some of you work within the industry and many are just as passionate about transport as we are, so we would love if you could help us out with guest posts. If this sounds like you then we would really appreciate your help – any ideas are welcome and we can keep names anonymous if desired. Click here for details about how to get in touch with us.

If you are interested, here is a map of the route I am travelling via train through Europe, starting in Paris and ending in Rome. There is one small flight to Barcelona and back as the timetable just didn’t work out.

I will try to do a few posts on my trip while I am away but will definitely be relaying my experiences in more detail once I get back. I’m sure Auckland Transport will be happy that I won’t be around to harass them for a little while 😉

Lastly, due to some changes at work I will also be looking for a new job once I get back from holiday. I would love to work as an analyst in the transport industry, so if you know of any opportunities out there then please flick them my way. On the positive side, this means that I will have more time to devote to the blog (once I’ve completed the list of chores from my wife of course…)

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  1. I thought the blog was your wife? 😉

    I’m really glad you’re getting out there. There’s been a lot of talk in our circles about ones perception of Auckland’s “great” transport network. One cannot understand how pathetic it is until one has travelled far outside Australia and New Zealand. I really hope you enjoy your trip.

    1. Agreed, it really does put it in perspctive. However, i was in Amsterdam a few weeks ago and a tram broke down right in the middle of the main Damrak intersection over from the train station at about 4pm. This blocked all of the trams and all of the road users. The entire city was gridlocked with all trams stopped. I have never seen anything like it. Im not sure how long it lasted but we were there for over an hour trying to walk back to the train station….

  2. Have you been to Europe before Matt? From a transport perspective it’s an amazing eye-opener! I suspect you’ll learn the most from Dutch and German cities.

    I can put together a few posts while you’re away probably. Just let me know how.

  3. Happy travels!
    I could put together a post about Transport from a Local Board perspective, with a little help from my colleagues. Just let me know how if you are interested.

  4. Hey Matt, probably too late now but you know you can get an overnight cruise ferry from Civitavecchia (the port of Rome) to Barcelona? It’s a fun way to avoid flying.

    Anyway, have a great time!

    1. The overnight train from Milan is pretty good too, think it only runs every other day, and reasonably cheap too. Only problem when I caught it that there was a strike somewhere in France so had the option of taking a bus, or waiting 2 days. Not hard to guess what I did!
      Other issue is it arrived at Barceona Franca station, which is totally lacking in directions to the metro, so wandered round rather tired a confused for a while.

      1. Luke are you talking about the Paris-Venice Thello train? If so, it’s one of the more unpleasant sleeper trains I’ve experienced. Funnily enough it’s run by Veolia; I’d avoid it Matt L unless you want a repeat of your Auckland commuter experience while on holiday. And might I suggest also avoiding the Milano-Roma Frecciarossa in the early evening or morning because it’s often full of Milanese businessmen chattering endlessly on their telefoninos and let me assure you there’s nothing more annoying! Have a great trip.

          1. na I’m talking about the Milan Barcelona sleeper train. Italy has amazing variation in rail standard. The Frecciarossa are up there with Spains AVE as the best in Europe, but some of the local trains are very old, but very cheap if you dont mind a slow trip. A rail pass is Brilliant, managed a 3 day trip in Naples on my way from Slovenia to Milan! Breakfast just off St Marks Square, and in Naples for a late afternoon tea.
            Unfortunately am in Europe in August too so can’t offer to help.

  5. Matt

    Enjoy your trip , myself and a colleague are off to Vancouver, Seattle, Eugene and San Fransico next week to have a look at those who appear to be doing it well. Happy to share our findings upon our return.

    Putting the chores you may need to do for your wife to one side I would be grateful if you would contact me on your return to have a chat about what you may be interested in re Analytical role in Transport.

    Warm Regards
    Zane Fulljames

  6. Enjoy. I loved the PT in Europe, especially Vienna. As Neo observed above, it definitely is an eye-opener when compared to the crap we put up with here. Metro Vienna has a population roughly equivalent to where Auckland’s projected to be in another 30 years’ time, too, which makes it a very interesting example.
    One interesting thing about Paris, it’s cheaper to buy blocks of tickets for the Metro than it is to buy a periodic pass unless you’re going to be using the Metro more than about 20 times.

  7. Again too late… but a website called “seat61” is fantastic for all foreign train travel advice. Especially for getting cheap local deals.

  8. Enjoy the trip, extremely jealous. Yes Vienna’s metro is excellent. London’s Underground isn’t too bad either.

  9. Enjoy the trip, but it seems you are travelling too early to commemorate Kiwi day in Andechs. For Munich (multi-)day passes are probably the best deal, they exist also as a partner card. I just learned to value how fantastic PT is in Munich when I came back from NZ. For Paris velib is the way to go, it’s cheap, Paris is really dense, in August streets are empty and you’ll see more of this beautiful city. If you want to go there to the underground, go to the catacombs!! Drop me a mail if need advise on what to do in or around Munich.

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