Interrailing in Europe

Neuschwanstein

This summer I spontaneously decided to Interrail by myself around central Europe. If you aren’t aware, Interrailing is a term often used to describe:

  • Purchasing an ‘Interrail’ Europe-wide rail-pass with pictures of delighted students smiling all over its utopian landscaped photos of European countryside;
  • Strapping on a 65 litre backpack that you have packed so thoroughly its crushing weight will definitely cause you future back pain and spinal problems;
  • Spending hours nit-picking about which hostels you are going to book using ‘trustworthy’ websites  where random people can simply book 1 night in a hostel and then post an appallingly terrible review which may destroy a family owned establishment forever;
  • Searching through identical cheap travel insurance companies with brands you don’t recognise to try and find one that will ensure if you are hit by one of those excellent European drivers or kidnapped you are sufficiently re-imbursed;
  • Looking up travel guidebooks from the library for all of your destinations to subsequently decide that with smart-phones and Wi-Fi in every hostel, guidebooks are completely redundant;
  • Relying on learning one single foreign phrase per country since everyone in Europe speaks English anyway (Entschuldigung, Sprechen Sie Englisch?);
  • Arriving in every popular European city to be greeted from representatives of free walking tours which you still have to pay for;
  • Arriving in every popular European city to be informed that if any beautiful European girl speaks to you, they are intending to scam you;

Fisherman's Bastion

  • Planning to visit lots of museums and then becoming absolutely sick of museums;
  • Realising that every extravagant church is the same, and none of them are as good as St Peter’s Basilica anyway;
  • Having a love-hate relationship with Starbucks for always being there when you need free Wi-Fi wherever you go;
  • Having to give an identical recitation of your trip itinerary to every person you meet in your hostel (as if the fresher’s conversations from your first year of uni weren’t enough);
  • Never getting an early night in a hostel because you are always woken up by the other guests who you share a room with anyway;
  • Drinking lots and lots of coffee;
  • Eating lots and lots of ice cream;
  • Doing lots and lots and lots and lots of walking;
  • Walking down the many beautiful canals in Amsterdam and wishing the 99% of the world’s cities that don’t look remotely that nice, looked that nice;
  • Walking around the streets lined with incredible architecture and beautiful parks in Vienna and wishing the 99% of the world’s cities that don’t look remotely that nice, looked that nice;
  • Realising there are places in the world where people are really helpful and friendly;
  • Realising there are places in the world where people aren’t really helpful and friendly;
  • Realising there are places in the world where the weather isn’t rubbish in the summer;
  • Sharing an absolutely tiny 6 bed compartment on a pleasant night train with 5 random people who turn out to be great conversation and make the journey fly by;
  • Sharing an absolutely tiny 6 bed compartment on a less pleasant night train with 5 random people where the journey is really uncomfortable because it’s extremely hot and the train is rickety to the point where you become motion-sick;
  • Realising that your trip is going fantastically smoothly, well beyond your expectations, and that solo travel isn’t nearly as difficult as some people make it out to be, and that you shouldn’t be scared of solo travel, that it’s a great experience, and a great way to see what you want, when you want, where you want, and that Europe is fantastic (well for me anyway).

Vienna - Belvedere Palace

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8 responses to “Interrailing in Europe

  1. I never did the Interrail thing but have travelled a lot through Europe by motorcycle – which I whole heartedly recommend! Freedom to go where you want, when you want; no heavy rucksacks; avoiding tourist traps; being welcomed by everyone (for some reason we always get a really good reception); need I go on?! It’s definitely the best way to travel 😀

  2. Thanks for visiting my blog and introducing yourself to me! I haven’t traveled outside of the U.S. and Canada since I began my middle-aged “jaunts”, but the idea keeps nagging at me. I’ve been to Scotland and England in my younger days. Your photos and posts are inspiring!

    • Hi road, thank you very much for your compliment, I’m glad you like my posts! I really want to go to the US (and Canada), particularly to see the national parks and natural landscapes. Unfortunately it’s a pretty expensive prospect at the moment. I hope the idea of coming to Europe keeps nagging at you!

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