InterRail Post #3: Moin Moin!

Hello, back to Charles again for this post about our last few days on the trip. We’ve now left Copenhagen and have nearly finished our time in Hamburg already!

On our last day in Copenhagen we took to the streets the Danish way and got bikes :) I say got because the city of Copenhagen has a city bike scheme where for a returnable 20 kroner anyone can get a bike at over 120 locations across the city, and then use it to get around, or in our case, have a goosy gander!

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We went around Christianhavn, the free town, and ventured up to church spire to get a better view of the whole city!

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I’m becoming a bit of a sucker for these panorama shots!

Then off to Hamburg… home to the 3rd largest port in Europe, it’s only a 5 hour train journey away from Copenhagen. There was a weird moment on the journey when our train boarded a ferry for 45 minutes…

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A train on a ferry… true story.

And then we arrived in Hamburg. With only a day and a half to get the town down, we had to hit the ground running!

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Between Hamburg’s 2 large lakes and the fleets running to the River Elbe, Hamburg has more bridges than Venice and Amsterdam combined!

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Sampling the local food, currywurst!

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Found northern Europe’s largest funfair, it was pretty big.

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Hamburg is home to the pointiest building in Europe.

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Hamburg’s red light district, the Reeperbahn, is heaving on a Saturday night! Got in a few drinks :)

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Hamburg boasts the world’s largest miniature railway… it’s actually massive!

Things to note about Europe so far:

  • The green man walks the other way to the UK.
  • Sandermans free tours are good!
  • No-one ever checks your underground ticket!
  • Starbucks is everywhere.
  • Every city has had a great fire.
  • Londoners are very messy in comparison to other Europeans, their streets are immaculate.

So we’re off to Berlin for a couple days then to Prague! Stay tunes!

InterRail Post #2: Ice Cream for dinner? I think so!

Sophie here, writing in the only blog I religiously read. My involvement in the trip was very on and off for a while, I was unsure whether I could make enough money to go on the trip and not be severely lacking funds for my final year of Uni. Luckily I did make enough money, by working 5 jobs and curbing my spending (well other than trips to the theatre of course which are an absolute essential). Charles and I set about planning in February and since about April our weekly Skype conversations have been solely about the trip.

We arrived in Copenhagen on Monday 22nd August, flying in from Heathrow Terminal 5 and took the very clean and spacious metro to our ‘Sleep in Heaven’ hostel. We went round exploring the town that evening, ending up having a Scandinavian buffet for dinner on Stroget, the main shopping street. The past few days have been full of Amusement parks, meeting up with my Danish friend Julie, canal tours and Ice cream for dinner. Tomorrow we will hopefully hire some bikes and explore the botanical gardens and Christiania, the free town, before getting up early on Saturday to head to our second stop on the InterRail trip, Hamburg.

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(A fountain in the middle of Stroget)

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(Julie and I with a pretty Elephant in town square)

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(Charles and I outside the museum we didn’t go in)

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(Charles being a very creepy toy vendor in the museum we did go on)

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(Ice cream! Need I say more!)

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(Tivoli gardens, amusement park in the heart of Copenhagen)

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(Nyhavn, touristy spot and home of fairytale writer Hans Christen Anderson)

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(Most well known character from a story by said author)

 

5 interesting things Charles and I have learnt about Copenhagen:

1. You have to wait for the little green man to cross a road, even if no cars are coming (something us Londoners have no patience for).

2. Danish Ice cream comes in awesome flavours like ‘Kinder Surprise’ and ‘Muffin’

3. Everything is really expensive (even bananas)

4. It’s a very clean city (with even the homeless collecting bottles off the street to claim money back from the recycling bins)

5. Words are pronounced very very differently to how they are spelt (apparently you drop every third random letter)

 

Sophie

x

InterRail Post #1: Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

Welcome one and all! This is the start of a great adventure covering no less than 7 countries, 5 currencies and 10 hostels! The journey actually began a long time ago when I set my sights on the idea back in the summer before going to Unviersity. At the time I was going out of my mind with boredom and my dad suggested that InterRailing, the idea of getting a single train ticket that covers all of European’s railways, was a great way to travel on a budget and with little planning needed. However at the time, I was lacking the funds, friends and confidence to get the impetus to just do it. Then the first year of uni came and went and the summer went even quicker. Before I knew it I was in second year before the idea crept back into my head, but this time the barriers were lowered. I started mentioning it to a few friends and several ideas were formed, but still nothing concrete. The money thing was still a concern, but after getting the placement at Sony I decided that there was no excuse to not do it before final year, and it was possibly my last chance to take on such a trip before going into full time employment once I graduated (fingers crossed!)

It got to February 2011 before finally finding someone who could actually bear the thought of spending a month with me, and had the money (or at least the stupidity) to join me. And that person is…

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Sophie Dean! Ex-housemate from first year halls and all-round good friend :) Sophie may not have all the qualities one looks for in a travel companion, but if she’s one thing then that’s organised! Take it as a blessing or a sin, but it made planning the trip a lot easier.

The next step was to decide where the hell we were going to go! After all, Europe is a big place, with 30 countries covered by the InterRail pass! We set about, as I can imagine all avid travellers do, with great expectations of ventures in Rome, Spain, Denmark, Greece, Croatia and France to name a few! But after much debacle and prolonged debate, our expectations were contained and we approached the beginnings of a plan! See below:


View Inter-rail Trip in a larger map

This turned out to be our final route, now we just needed to decide how long we’d stay in each place… Here’s the lowdown:

  • Day 1 to 5: Copenhagen
  • Day 6 to 7: Hamburg
  • Day 8 to 9: Berlin
  • Day 10 to 13: Prague
  • Day 14 to 16: Vienna
  • Day 17 to 19: Budapest
  • Day 20: Train
  • Day 21 to 22: Split
  • Day 23 to 25: Dubrovnik
  • Day 26: Boat
  • Day 27 to 30: Rome
  • Day 31 to 32: Venice

Now all that’s left is to pack and go! And that’s exactly what we did…

Today (Tuesday) is day 2 of the trip and I am writing this from Copenhagen! Sneaky peak at the next post? Oh, go on then:

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Another day, another mountain. Literally.

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My last weekend in Switzerland. So we decided to go up the highest thing we could find, which just happened to be Monte San Salvatore…

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How is this year so awesome! Lugano, Amsterdam, Como, Milan, Edinburgh… and that’s not to mention the 2 epic boat trips!

  • Happiness. 8 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 3 out of 5
  • Free Time. 0 out of 5 – final report joy & inter-rail planning
  • Last Meal. Chicken and chips
  • Song of the day. The King Blues – I Want You
  • Thought for the day. There are no rules, only consequences.
  • What I’m Doing Now. Ready for my penultimate week at work.