Varna Trip Report, day two

[day −1]
[day 0]
[day 1]

2023-06-09 07:00 UTC−4:

I was out like a light after posting my day 1 report and didn’t wake up until 06:00.

My room at the New Yorker Hotel is about as far away from the elevators as it gets, and there’s a maze of corridors to get to the room.  Fortunately, I was quickly able to train myself to run it. 😎  The room lacks a coffee maker, so the hotel is not up to three-star standards; but other than that, it’s OK.


After cleaning myself up a bit, I got dressed and packed for the trip to Boston, checked out of the hotel, and took the short hike to the Moynihan Train Hall.  This is the first time I’ve been through it, and I was hoping that the redcap folks would let me store a couple of bags for a short time while I took a walk around.  Unfortunately, it was still over three hours until my train’s departure, and they didn’t even want to talk to me yet, so I spent my time sitting in the regular boarding lounge and watching the departure board. 😎  The seating isn’t very comfortable…the seats a soft enough, but there are no armrests.  I’ll have access to the Met. Lounge on my return, so maybe I can do a bit of exploring then.

ca. 12:00 (I don’t remember exactly when):

They started boarding 86 from the redcap lounge, and we were on the platform for a while waiting for the train to arrive.

I have seat 1A, the window seat in the first row on the fireman’s side*, in the business class car, which is the last car on the train.  There’s just enough room for my walker in front of me which I can use as a table for my computer.

We departed on time and, despite lots of slowdowns on Metro North and restricted (very slow) running behind a test train for a while, we were actually a few minutes early into New Haven.  Nothing else out of the ordinary happened with the train ride, and we arrived at Boston’s South Station just a couple of minutes late.


There have been some big changes to South Station since the last time I was there.  The platforms are now almost all under cover because there’s a new building above them.  I’ll need to do some exploring there as well when I return.

I did remember how to get to the waiting taxis.  Unfortunately, it’s Friday rush hour, and the drive to Logan Airport took quite a while.


Oops, I stupidly forgot to bring proof of my TSA precheck status, so I had to go through the regular line.  Fortunately, it didn’t take too long.  (I actually have Global Entry.  Maybe when I get back to Boston they’ll be able to look me up.  If not, my bad.)


I’m now in the Air France lounge which passengers with Icelandair Saga Class tickets get to use.  I think I’ll make this the whole day 2 report and save a description of the Icelandair flights for day 3.

*Back in the days of steam engines, there were two crew in the cab:  the driver of the train, called an “engineer” in the U.S., who sat on the right side (and still does) for a better view of trackside signals, and the “fireman” who would sit on the left side when he wasn’t shoveling coal.  “Engineer’s side” and “fireman’s side” are still used today to mean the right and left sides of the train, respectively.


  1. Gary Kazin says

    The Metropolitan Lounge at Penn Station is very nice, much nicer than the old lounge. It offers free food (tips welcome) that can actually become a meal. Alcoholic beverages have a price. There’s plenty of space, wifi, outlets, and excellent rest rooms. Passengers are alerted of the departure of their trains and escorted to them in advance of the general boarding call.

  2. Katydid says

    Thanks again for the updates–you’re giving most of your readers a glimpse into something they have very little experience with. For the past couple of decades, if I take a train, it’s a commuter one to get to a nearby city and the ride is only a half-hour so there’s really not much to say about it. Obviously there’s no food service or classes of service.

    Older American movies, particularly black-and-white ones, feature trains. I think the culture has lost something in paving over train tracks.

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