You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there. – Yogi Berra
I recently decided to visit some friends living in the Southwest of France. I had to book my train tickets, but still found a very good deal travelling on an iDTGV. I had never heard of it before, even though it has been available as a means of travel since 2004 (and is considered a low-cost version of the actual TGV). All the trains run from/to Paris and serve over 30 stations. You have to book your tickets online and print out a copy or download it to your mobile phone.
While booking the ticket, I was asked to choose between two zones: iDzen (promoted as a calm zone) or iDzap (“family friendly” and entertaining). As I like my peace and quiet while travelling, I booked an iDzen ticket.
Boarding in Paris was easy, with supervisors checking the tickets and assisting you with finding your compartment. As soon as the train departed, an announcement reminded us that we opted for the iDzen zone, thus mobile phones should be switched to silent mode and calls should be made at designated areas outside the carriages. A buffet car was situated at the middle of the train and supervisors passed through the carriage several times during my 3h30 trip to Bordeaux.
I have never had a more enjoyable journey on a train. Everybody respected the silence, so this is a great option for people who would like to work, read, sleep or pass the time in a quiet manner. I took a stroll through the train in order to see the iDzap zone, where people were talking, children were playing and the scene reminded me of my journeys on a “traditional” TGV train (even though entertainment can be provided, so I guess it’s better fun).
All in all, a very enjoyable experience, and I will definitely choose iDTGV over the traditional TGV travel in the future.