The large train stations really are a treat in and of themselves. I can hardly wrap my brain around the planning and organizational skills needed to monitor and plan the travels and trains on a daily basis. It’s almost not quite fair to even suggest that they are “like an airport, only different”.
They are so much more than an airport. One can store luggage [for a fee], get a snack, get a coffee, get a beer. One can see interesting art displays, amazing architecture from forever ago, and try to read signs in French. Or, sometimes, in English [but not as much]. It is possible to buy the regular travel fair -ditties of every nature- as well as less
obvious travel needs, MonaLisa socks, for example. Yet, with all that there was to see, the main attraction for this California gal is the intricate and superbly ornate metallurgy of the structures around the train stations.
Another thing that kept crossing my mind was how many people apparently have somewhere to be, urgently. There are just way too many people with things to do and places to go. It was really quite incredible. From Gare du Nord in Paris to Amsterdam in the Netherlands, here we go!