Thursday, July 16, 2015

Travelogue: Europe by Rail--through the Mountains in Bavaria to the Casino at Monte Carlo, Free eBook

Welcome to the Summer Travelogue series! Award-winning British  author Helena Fairfax gets us back on track for a great  trip through Europe by Rail.( I believe in the USA we would say a train trip!)

Thank you, Helena, for sharing your adventure with us!

Europe by Rail: through the Mountains in Bavaria to the Casino at Monte Carlo 
by Helena Fairfax

Map of Europe from Deluxe Travel site
Not Helena's actual trip

Eight years ago (and I can’t believe it’s that long!) my husband and I took a rail trip through Europe.
The whole of Europe - so much to see and do! But we only had just over two weeks, so our trip involved careful planning and ruthlessly abandoning thousands of cultural highlights.
So, on a very, very rainy day in the north of England, I left work for an exciting adventure. We flew to Stuttgart and from there took a train all the way to the heart of the Bavarian Alps. Many, many years ago I spent one summer working in a hotel here, and I still have dear friends from that time. We were all going to return to our hotel – only this time not to wash dishes or serve foaming pints of beer, but as paying guests.
Here’s the view from our window. As you can imagine, as young people working in this hotel we missed the clubs and pubs to be found at home. The cows were a poor substitute for night life. But it was wonderful to return and rediscover just how fabulous the Bavarian mountains are:
The Bavarian Alps
We had a fabulous two days recalling old times and drinking Weissbier, and then we said goodbye to my friends and carried on further south, on a train journey through the even more magnificent mountains of Switzerland towards Italy. Look at this for a view from our train window!
View from the Bernina Express
After the Swiss Alps, we came down into the flat lands to the border with northern Italy, and the shores of Lake Lugano. Unlike northern England, the weather was now HOT.
Lugano, Switzerland 
image courtesy of Pixabay
And then we headed over the border and further south into Italy, to the fabulous renaissance city of Florence. If you’ve read my novel The Antique Love  you might recognise this view of the river Arno, which I used at the end of the novel. (The ending of The Antique Love was voted “Most Romantic Love Scene Ever” by readers of Love, Romances and More. With inspiration like this, it wasn’t hard to write a romantic ending!)
Sunset over the Arno
And then we headed back up north, stopping off at the city of Genoa – a jumble of red houses and steep slopes by the Mediterranean – to take the train over the border and on to the French city of Nice. 
    Whilst staying in Nice, we took the opportunity to visit the tiny little principality of Monaco, once ruled over by Prince Rainier and his wife, Princess Grace (formerly Grace Kelly), and now ruled over by Albert II.
Palace at Monaco
 image courtesy of Pixabay
Guard at Monaco Palace
Monaco Harbour

Readers, have you taken  a train trip? Have you visited Europe? Please let us know about your travel adventures in comments below.

Be sure to follow the J.Q. Rose blog by email so you won't miss out on the upcoming Travelogues. No spamming, I promise.

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Helena, you certainly packed a lot of splendid places to visit into a short time. Thanks for sharing this amazing trip with us. Now tell us about your new book to be released August 2.

My latest release, Palace of Deception, is a romantic suspense novella. The setting is a fictional principality in southern Europe – a country a little like Monaco (although of course the characters aren’t based on country’s real Royal family!) The heroine travels to the principality of Montverrier by rail.
Here is the blurb to Palace of Deception:
A sinister housekeeper, a silent bodyguard, and a missing princess - mystery and intrigue in a gripping romantic suspense.

Lizzie Smith is contacted by her old drama teacher over the summer and offered the acting job of her life. Princess Charlotte of Montverrier has disappeared on the eve of her Investiture…and Lizzie must take her place.

But in the run up to the ceremony, all is not what it seems in the Palace of Montverrier. Why does the housekeeper insist Lizzie keep to her suite of rooms? What danger lies outside the palace walls? As Lizzie learns her role, her only confidant is Léon, her quiet bodyguard…but what secrets is he keeping from her?

Mystery and suspense against the backdrop of a beautiful Mediterranean city.

Palace of Deception is available on pre-order from 
Amazon US
Amazon UK  
and international Amazon stores.

Thanks for inviting me to your blog, JQ. I’ve loved reading through all your own travelogue posts, and those of your guests. Here’s to many more happy times travelling! 
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About Helena:
altHelena Fairfax was born in Uganda and came to England as a child. She’s grown used to the cold now and that’s just as well, because nowadays she lives in an old Victorian mill town in Yorkshire, right next door to windswept Brontë country. She has an affectionate, if half-crazed, rescue dog and together they tramp the moors every day—one of them wishing she were Emily Brontë, the other vainly chasing pheasants. When she’s not out on the moors you’ll find Helena either creating romantic heroes and heroines of her own or else with her nose firmly buried in a book, enjoying someone else’s stories. Her patient husband and her brilliant children support her in her daydreams and are the loves of her life.

Find Helena online--

Twitter @helenafairfax

Check out Helena's award-winning romance, The Antique LoveA heartwarming, feel-good romance. Voted "Most Romantic Love Scene Ever" by readers of Love, Romances, and More.

UPDATE: Helena is making her contemporary romance novel The Antique Love *FREE* to download for Kindle for a limited time, from July 19 until 23rd July 2015. I hope you’ll go ahead and download a copy, and enjoy! The Antique Love won an award last year for “Most Romantic Love Scene Ever.” Here are the download links to get your free copy on Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CAAmazon INAmazon AU.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for letting me reminisce about my trip, JQ. Putting this post together brought back lots of happy memories for me. And I love the maps you've added! They really give a clear idea of where exactly we were. I'd love to explore Italy some more one day.
Thanks again for hosting me. It's been a lot of fun!

J.Q. Rose said...

Thank YOU, Helena, for sharing this trip with us. What an opportunity to visit Europe from our desk chair...Your tour inspired me to make a trip across the pond to discover all these wonderful places. I wonder how many miles you traveled on this journey. Looking forward to visiting with readers about their European experiences too.

Unknown said...

Oh, this sounds like so much fun! I've been looking at European river cruises, but now a train trip has captured my imagination. Your upcoming release looks excellent, Helena. I'm a devoted Princess Grace fan, so using Monaco as inspiration really has me intrigued. Looking forward to it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather, I have a friend who used to run river cruises up and down the Rhine in Germany, and also the Danube. He also ran a tour on the Bernina Express (train) in Switzerland, and he recommended it to me. It's spectacular! Monaco is only very small, but worth it if you love Princess Grace. The southern French coast is lovely! I do love travelling by train, and have always wanted to travel from NY to San Francisco. I hope your European trip comes off!

Melissa said...

What lovely pictures!

Susan Bernhardt said...

What a wonderful travelogue, Helena! And I love the photos. Best wishes for your new novel, Palace of Deception. Great title!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for dropping in, Melissa and Susan. Lovely to hear from you!

J.Q. Rose said...

Heather, my brother and his wife took the Rhine River cruise and they loved it. There's something so romantic about a train though. Maybe cause I'm not exactly a fan of the water...never learned to swim well and my DH gets sea sick!! Helena, I have never taken the train on a long trip, so I cannot give you any advice on train travel in the States. Maybe someone here has had that experience?

J.Q. Rose said...

Melissa and Susan, I enjoyed putting these gorgeous photos up on the blog. If the pics turned out that nice, I can't imagine how fantastic the real views and experiences could be. Thanks so much for stopping in!!

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