In the spring of 2010, whilst I was still 25 (just), I used up a great chunk of my annual leave from work to go inter-railing around parts of Europe. Annual leave well taken! The significance of being 25 at the time was that my age meant I was still eligable for a youth ticket, which costs a hell of a lot less than a full adult ticket. My pass was £160 and covered 10 days of which I could travel on any 5. This is where my ticket took me …
View My Inter-Railing trip in a larger map
Purple = Flight from Stansted to Berlin
Blue = Train journies
Green = Coach from Munich to Prague
Pink = Coach from Prague to London
First stop Berlin. I took a flight alone from Stansted and booked myself into the Berlin Wombats hostel.
My time in Berlin was spent doing a New Europe walking tour, viewing the east side gallery (4th pic below), partying, recovering. I’m sure this is pretty much the norm. The tour took of tour group to places such as the Brandenburg Gate (1st pic), Hitler’s Bunker, The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (5th pic), Checkpoint Charlie and Museum Island. Well worth the fee, the fee which you decide. Great scheme.
Mytrain from Berlin to Prague was packed, but I managed to snag a seat and loved the journey and the sense of advanture. I knew inter-railing was a great idea after that journey.
Arriving in Prague I checked into the luxury hostel that is the Czech Inn. An absolute bargain and one of the nicest hostels i’ve stayed in.
From my hostel base, I took on another New Europe walking tour and had a couple of birthday drinks with an Aussie girl from my dorm room. The Prague tour took me and my fellow tourees to the famous Astronomical Clock (2nd pic), the Old Jewish Quarter, Charles Bridge (1st pic) and St. Nicolas’ Church amongst other bits and pieces. I also took myself up to the Catsle to take in the views and watch the changing of the guard.
My first night in Vienna I was on my tod, but soon met a couple of people in my hostel bar (wombats) and went on a crazy piss up around the town. I paid for it a little the next morning, but I was soon joined by two of my good friends Esther and Ret (this was all before Esther and I became an item .. ahhhhhh). They both flew in to accompany me on the rest of my trains around europe experience.
On the day of their arrival I decided to take them out on a tour of the city, even though I had no idea where I was going. After a stop for ice cream, we ended up at a bar on the river, sitting in deck chairs with our bare feet in sand and glugging beer under the Austrian Sunshine (1st pic). It was bliss. The next day we took a trip to the Palace which was also great (2nd pic).
We had a spot of trouble finding our hostel upon arrival in Budapest, but once we did, the staff of the Budapest Bubble took us on a mental bar crawl that ended at 6am for some of us, 11am for the naughty ones. No names.
Once we had recovered from that session, we took in a walking tour of the city and a spot of Opera, very cultured for the likes of us.
Salzburg was a bit of an odd one, I didnt know much about the place, but booked it because I needed another place to stop off to make the most of my ticket, but it was nice enough (apart from our hostel which had a few pervy builders lurking in the corridors).
We didnt have long in Salzburg, but in our short time we took in the local castle, visited the birth place of Motzart (4th pic) and then ate giant pretzels. After that we set about getting drunk again, I know, typical brits.
Our last (planned) stop was Munich. Once again I was in a Wombats hostel … they all had bars :-).
Once again we took in a walking tour, hoping to learn something about the place we were current residing. During that tour however Ret got a text with two words that really stood out – VOLCANIC EXPLOSION … gulp! Our stay in Munich was somewhat extended due to the Icelandic volcano exploding. We really had no way home, and after a couple more days in Munich where we checked out Spring Festival (2nd pic), drank beer in a few beer halls (1st pic) and visited a bar that resembled a soft toy cemetary (4th pic), we decided home wasnt going to happen for a while so extended our trip and caught a coach to ….. (scroll down)
Yup back once again to Prague. It ticked pretty much all the boxes, of which there was only one, “affordable”. Munich was draining our cash whereas Prague was dirt cheap, and as the girls hadnt been it was a nice bonus for them.
I was never going to take the girls anywhere else other than the Czech Inn, I love that hostel. I ended up doing the same walking tour I had on my previous visit, but I learnt a few extra bits the second time around. I also took it upon myself to arrange a second evening of birthday celebrations so off we trundled to infamous Prague Clock Tower bar crawl. We did not feel well the next day.
After an extra week on the road/rails we finally found a route home to London, a coach. Yep, 28 hours of utter missery on a coach which should have been decomissioned back in the 70’s, and which cost us an obserd £100. Never again!
And that was it, 4 weeks after I left Stansted airport I was home, exhausted and rather smelly. I literally collapsed into the shower at the flat I was then living in.
I seriously cannot recommend getting the trains around Europe enough. Whether you book a ticket through inter-rail or not, its a totally worthwhile experience, a whole heep of fun!