Archive for July, 2006

A Rough European Itinerary

Thanks to the wonders of the interweb in no time at all I have become the proud owner of a 30 Day (all zone) inter-rail pass. More importantly, this act symbolises the transition of this idea from bar-side dreams and statements of intent to a reality. I mean, I can’t turn back now, I just spent the best part of three hundred quid!


Anyway, the booking process is a doddle, no different to buying any other train/plane/concert ticket from the web and should be with me shortly. I’m still not 100% sure how you use the ticket to dictate which trains you can get on and when, but I haven’t had to specify anything except a start date as yet, so I will find that out later. I have also received a very useful e-mail from a travel agency in Moscow with full details of all of the trains I will need in order to complete that leg of the trip.

Though I am pretty certain of the route I will be taking from Russia onwards, and will cover that soon enough, I’ve still been being typically indecisive about Europe. No longer however! Behold; my European route v 1.0.

As I mentioned before, my inter-rail ticket doesn’t kick in until I leave my country of origin so a quick ferry/train to France and I will be on my way. I’m not going to hang around in France too long as I have been plenty of times and it’s never far away, however, I may go visit ambush a good ol’ mate who has been hiding from me for a while in Ardelot (sp?).

“Why?” I hear you yell at your monitor! “Because I’m going to go visit another friend!” I yell back at mine. In reality we wouldn’t hear each other, and this transaction would be pointless, much like this visit would be if she wasn’t there (which may happen), so this is still a ‘maybe’.

Beer & steckerlfisch galore. I make my first visit onto German soil in this city I have heard great things about. With any luck this leg won’t turn into an extended Biergärten visit, it’s a shame they can’t win the world cup now, otherwise they might still have been partying when I got there!

A friend of mine who will be there should be able to show me a good time in Vienna. On top of that, I might hire a bike for a day or two and see the sights and sounds of the city with a sweaty bum.

Only 40 miles from Vienna these are the closest two capital cities in the world, so it would be a sin not to pop over and have a gander! I will also see if I can find myself a couple of beautiful Slovakian women at a hostel, though I will be ready to do a runner on the off chance they try to drug me and sell me off so that some rich nutters can torture and kill me…

With a legendary reputation for scenery and partying, Prague seems to be on everybody’s checklist of places to visit. It’s on mine too and I won’t miss the chance to stop here for a few days and take it all in.

After a long haul I’ll be getting ‘hyggelig’ with my homies! Another city where I have some connections and maybe even a place to crash and no lack of things to do.

Stand on a rock, assume the claw position and release a blood curdling wail. Also, get the highest train line in Europe over to Bergen where it rains a lot and maybe pop up the fjords and see some whales and waterfalls.

However much I would love to stay in Stockholm for a while it is likely this will be a whistle stop tour of Sweden this time round as at this point I will be pressed for time to make it to my final Inter-rail destination.

Under the guiding hand of a good old mate I will check out what the finns have to offer and be conveniently located for a quick jump over to Russia to continue the journey after wards.

It’s a lot of places in a short period of time and realistically in most places I am looking at only staying 2-3 days at most. In the end I suppose, Europe is the ‘easiest’ part of this journey, and the real travelling starts from Russia onwards. However, there are plenty of things left to do, and though this is a solid guideline I am trying my best to ensure it is flexible enough for me to pop over to some random city on a whim.
Also, as I have spent the first taxable penny of this trip so far, I thought it may be useful to keep a running counter of the total money spent as both a guideline for anybody interested and a useful tool for keeping an eye on the balance myself!

So that’s it for now, but there is still much to do before the fun bits, like thinking up what to do in each city, begin.

Total Spent so Far:

+ £290 (Inter-rail 30-day All-zone pass + booking fee)