Category Archives: InterRail

InterRail Post #6: Ohhhhhhh Vienna!

Next stop after Prague was Vienna, Austria’s beautiful capital! Charlotte was still with us and we had a laugh exploring. Our hostel was right next to a famous market in Vienna called the Nashmarkt, which is a great place to wonder in an get cheap pasties and falafel for breakfast!

The weather was great in Vienna and we got so hot we had to find a lido to chill out in. Next to the summer palace is a large public baths, perfect. One of my work mates from Sony just happened to be in Vienna at the same time as us, so we met up and went to a great steakhouse! After two weeks of walking around, the meat cravings were definitely setting in.

One thing that we haven’t really mentioned yet is that in Berlin we met two girls who were staying in our hostel, and it turned out that they were also travelling on to Prague and Vienna! So we met up with them in Prague for some traditional food, and then we met again in Vienna since they were staying in the same hostel! The words world and small come to mind!

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Our hostel had a really nice bar and one night we ended up in a cool little group of travellers, two of them had even just graduated from the University of Surrey! It really is true what they say about small worlds and friendly people :)

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Vienna has many drinking stations situated all over the city centre and the locals are very proud that Vienna has some of the best water in Europe as it comes directly from the Alps to the city in pipes. The tap water here is better than mineral water.

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Sophie eying up the local hotties from her specially designed vantage point, St Stephens church.

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No trip to Vienna is complete without a trip to the Opera at the Staatsoper! You can queue on the night for standing tickets for as little as €3 so it would be rude not to! Another thing ticked off the list!

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Charlotte’s face after she got left behind by the metro train while trying to run down the train and get on a less crowded carriage, calling the now infamous words “why get on this door when you can get on…”

Next stop, Budapest!

InterRail Post #5: Bridge over the river Danube…

I don’t write blogs. So this could be interesting!

I am a blonde female known as Charlotte, graduated from Surrey uni in Dance and Culture and have flown out to join Charles and Sophos on their InterRail trip. Some of you who read this might know me, but for the many that don’t, here is the low down. We have all been friends since the first year of uni, I am training to become a teacher, I love the arts and pancakes. These two amazing people are my best friends who I cherish and love so much. When I realised that I would be able to join them on their trip of a lifetime, I literally jumped at the chance.

Flying out from Gatwick and arriving in Prague was the easy part, getting to the hostel however…not so much. After walking around in circles, I finally found the right street and saw Charlesies and Sophos waiting for me. We decided to dump our luggage in digs and head on out to explore the drinking areas of Prague, finding an Irish pub (yes, typical Prague pub here guys).

Our first full day in Praha (as the locals would say) consisted of a whole lot of walking and tradition. We went on a walking tour with our guide Michael, who showed us the astrological clock – apparently famous across the world as when it chimes on the hour, 12 apostles rotate around in an opening and other figures come to life. Awesome sights were seen and a whole lot of history was learnt. The last theatre that Mozart himself played at is in Prague!!! I thought that was awesome being very much into music and all.

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Charles Bridge was an uber attraction of the day as we have a photo of Charles on Charles Bridge. It was a blooming beautiful structure with hand carved stone statues guarding the edges. One being [INSERT ACTUAL NAME] where there were three rubbing points where you could: a) make a wish b) improve your fertility c) get bad luck.

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Alice and Kirsty were in Prague and I had heard about them from the guys time in Berlin so was quite looking forward to meeting them. We all met up for a traditional Czech dinner of Svičková, which was a little like mushed up beef and dumplings.

As a three, we decided to take a romantic trip on the pedalos along the river Danube. This gave us wonderful views and we were able to explore around little islands in the middle of the river and relax on the water. A great way to start the day before a castle tour…trekking up the long path to the castle. It was just stunning, the views from up the top of the grounds were phenomenal, a breathtaking panorama of the amazing city which we had been ambling around for days. The castle grounds were vast and the buildings were beautifully made with intricate designs.

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Find Sophie…

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Charles exploring the climbing walls in Prague…need I say more, apart from yummy!

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Us exploring around the lost islands where we bumped into a few massive barcode babies (Charles wanted this one up)…

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Took a gander at the John Lennon wall, promoting peace and unity…(and love)

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Taking a trip up the funicular railway and not getting so lost in a mirror maze…apart from Soph who got lost in her own reflection!

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Charles and I ended up in The PUB where we were sat at a table with pour your owns. Soph and I ended up eating Ice Creams. The street market was awesome and sold lots of unusual items. Charles with the pretty wooden flowers…

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Prague: Do yourself a favour and Czech it out!

 

Thanks for putting up with me and my awkward style of writing.

Love Charlotte xxx

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InterRail Post #3: You think it’s wall over…

Sophie again, writing about our stay on our third stop: Berlin.

Probably our favourite city so far because it’s steeped in history and there is a real ‘feel’ for the place that we didn’t get with the other two. We wandered around the city on our own on Monday seeing such sights as the Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust memorial and the Reichstag Parliment Building. We took the amazing free sandermans tour on Tuesday, learning loads about German history, Hitler and the Berlin wall. Louie, our tour guide was probably the best so far, making loads of jokes about David Hasselhof and rabbid dogs (very amusing) making the history seem not so grim and definitely worth a large tip.

A cousin of mine Gregory has a friend called Thorsten who lives in Berlin so I got in contact with his girlfriend Norina via the wonderful world of Facebook to see if we could meet up during our sojourn in Berlin. On Tuesday evening we were taken out for dinner at the Augustiner restaurant where Charles ate his own weight in pork and the Strudel made you stop and take a moment to adore it. We spent the rest of the trip meeting up with them for lunch and dinners, even going to the top of the Humboldt box for cocktails. A lovely, generous couple who were great fun to spend time with!

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(Charles abusing the Holocaust memorial)

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(The iconic Brandenburg Gate)

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(Us with Norina and the amass of pork)

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(Cocktails are good at any time of the day, this being the first of four I had that day)

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(Norina and I at the top of the Humboldt box)

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(Panorama from the top of the Humboldt box)

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(Charles promoting world peace at the East Side Gallery)

 

5 Interesting things about Berlin:

1. Michael Jackson hung his baby from a window at the Hotel Adlon, opposite the Brandenburg Gate. Said hotel also costs you €15,000 to stay in for one night, without breakfast.

2. The fall of the Berlin wall arose because of one Man’s failure to turn up to a very important meeting and the unfortunate use of the word ‘immediately’.

3. If you are caught jay walking by the police you could be fined €5.

4. The green men to cross the street in east Berlin are larger and walk with an arm out and the red man stands with his arms out to his sides much like a crucifix. This is not the case in west Berlin where they favour the normal green and red men.

5. If you order a hot chocolate in a cafe you will have to stir the chocolate with the milk yourself.

Sophie

x

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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