Train to Spain is not a pain Rail: Combining a trip to Paris with a short stop at the new Guggenheim Museum in Spain is feasible, thanks to good train service.

Travel Q&A

January 25, 1998|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

My wife and I will be in Paris this spring and would like to drop down to Bilbao, Spain, for a visit to the new Guggenheim Museum. Can this be done overland, by train?

There is excellent train service from Paris to Irun, Spain, and from there it is a relatively short bus ride to Bilbao.

The Rail Europe schedule until May 23 shows that there is a daily train with couchette service from Gare d'Austerlitz to Irun, and three daily trains and one every day from Monday to Saturday from Gare Montparnasse.

Fares for spring have not yet been posted, but current fares are $127 one way in first class and $104 in second. Montparnasse service is by the high-speed service known as the TGV; Austerlitz service is by regular train.

Nine buses a day connect Irun and Bilbao. The trip takes 1 hour and 50 minutes, and the one-way fare is $7, calculated at 140 pesetas to the dollar.

More information can be obtained from Rail Europe at 800-438-7245, or on the Web at www.raileurope.com.

Do you know of any tours of cathedrals in England?

Aptly enough, a company called Cathedral Tours England specializes in tours of English cathedrals and heritage sites.

The tours, which last nine or 14 days, start and finish in London.

For more information and reservations, contact Arts & Crafts Tours, 110 Riverside Drive, Suite 15E, New York, N.Y. 10024; 212-362-0761 or 800-742-0730, fax 212-787-2823; e-mail: actoursol.com.

Arts & Crafts Tours also organizes its own trips, including "Historic 19th-Century English Stained Glass," which visits Ely, Gloucester and Southwark Cathedrals.

The tour, from July 11-19, costs $3,870 a person.

"Castles and Cathedrals" is a 10-day tour being organized by Lord Addison Travel Ltd., P.O. Box 307, Peterborough. N.H. 03458; 800-326-0170, fax 603-924-9210.

The tour, running from July 30 to Aug. 8, will visit Chichester, Winchester, Salisbury and Wells. Costs per person in double occupancy are $2,830, with airfare.

Pub Date: 1/25/98

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