‘Is your backpack full of dreams?’: readers’ Interrail memories

1 month ago 19

Winning tip: Planning went awry successful Paris

I inactive person our 1987 transcript of Europe by Train. Simple pen and ink maps that had small ground successful world – a spot similar the readying my person and I did. Pre-internet, pre-glasnost, pre-midlife indecision, we naively arrived successful Paris and filled successful our insubstantial booklet summons with the archetypal destination, Nice, without considering booking a couchette, oregon simply a seat. In July. After hopeless visits to summons offices to effort to get connected immoderate bid leaving Paris, we to took the past bid of the night, north, to Amsterdam, and frankincense did the full escapade backmost to front. That aforesaid friend’s lad is astir to spell connected his ain Interrail adventure. Apparently he’s got a spreadsheet.
Stephen Bowden

Secret hostel, Switzerland

Gimmelwald.
The chalets of Gimmelwald person astonishing views. Photograph: Lukasz Janyst/Alamy

I Interrailed with my person Gabby successful 1992. We met truthful galore Interrailers and rapidly forged friendships. One radical of friends we met mapped retired immoderate instructions to nonstop america to a not-listed-in-the-guides hostel successful the Swiss alps. You could crook up to the unmanned woody chalet successful Gimmelwald, and if you could find a bunk, you could stay. Payment was by immoderate benignant of honesty box. It was the astir unthinkable determination with stunning mountaintop views and fantastic waterfall walks.
Nichola Gaskins

Cheesy chat-up line

A bulky backpack led to emotion  for Nick.
A bulky backpack led to emotion for Nick. Photograph: CrispyPork/Getty Images

Back successful the heady, optimistic days of the 1980s, Interrail allowed maine to get distant with a chat-up enactment that had a lasting interaction connected my life. As a miss was struggling to compression into the compartment of the nighttime bid from Paris to Barcelona I offered to assistance by saying to her, “Your backpack looks dense – is it afloat of dreams similar mine?” It led to a smile, a shared compartment, shared vino and a sociable sleepless nighttime arsenic we exchanged stories of pupil beingness and question successful Europe. Cheap hotels, midnight barbecues connected beaches and creation galleries followed arsenic we enactment our Interrail passes and narration chemistry together, then, a fewer years later, got engaged.
Nick

Dancing connected the Algarve

Hitting the formation  connected  the Algarve.
Hitting the formation connected the Algarve. Photograph: Silvia Pilar-Fernandes/Alamy

With six girlfriends I started successful London, past took a ferry crossed the Channel. In Paris, aft archetypal gathering up with a radical of Austrian men, we were soon practising our French with affable French men. After passing done Spain (no men), we arrived successful Portugal. We camped and partied connected the Algarve wherever 1 of my friends was asked to creation by a lonesome Dutchman. Now, 39 years later, they inactive creation – and unrecorded successful the UK.
Alison Anthony

Italian epic

Laura
Laura, with spouse and babe waiting for different train. Photograph: Laura

In 2017, we were invited to a wedding successful Sicily, and besides had to attend, successful Cesenatico adjacent Rimini connected the Adriatic coast, the scattering of the ashes of a household subordinate successful the sea. Living successful Geneva, we got our tickets from the Interrail website, astatine astir CHF100 (£87) each and decided to marque a due travel of it with our nine-month-old baby. So aft the wedding we journeyed from Catania to Taormina’s beauteous station, crossing to the mainland with the peculiar ferry-train, with a 10-hour travel to Rome, past Cesenatico, and backmost to Geneva done the Italian Alps. It was fantastic.
Laura

Plum brandy en way to Pula

Pula, Croatia
Sun, oversea and rocks astatine Pula, Croatia. Photograph: Design Pics Inc/Alamy

Travelling from Vienna to Belgrade successful erstwhile Yugoslavia successful 1983, we 3 18-year-old Chesterfield schoolhouse friends were asked to instrumentality a bundle implicit the borderline by a affable chap. Plied with plum brandy we agreed, lone to renege erstwhile we saw him escorted disconnected the bid by borderline police. After a further 24 hours we reached the seashore astatine Pula successful Croatia and dived into the beauteous oversea – lone to beryllium stung by jellyfish wrong seconds. A fantastic week of sun, oversea and rocky beaches with large nutrient and portion astatine bargain prices ensued.
Tim Andrew

Grumbling husband

Bernina Express
Bernina Express adjacent Chapella, Switzerland. Photograph: Roberto Moiola/Sysaworld/Getty Images

“A seven-day commute!” grumbled my hubby erstwhile I suggested we should instrumentality Interrail to observe our 25th wedding anniversary. We had met connected a bid much than 30 years earlier, truthful wherefore not? Taking the Eurostar to Paris, we boarded a TGV to Strasbourg and different bid to Brig, Switzerland, via Basel. We boarded the Glacier Express and were mesmerised by the snow-capped scenery. We travelled connected to Milan, Venice, Nice and Béziers. Highlights included gathering an aged mates successful the Bernina Pass who were munching hardboiled eggs and taking 2 trains to spell to Milan to ticker an opera.
Jenny Vickery

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Readers' tips: nonstop a extremity for a accidental to triumph a £200 voucher for a Sawday's stay

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Guardian Travel readers' tips

Every week we inquire our readers for recommendations from their travels. A enactment of tips volition beryllium featured online and whitethorn look successful print. To participate the latest contention sojourn the readers' tips homepage

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Travels with my daughter

Bled successful  Slovenia is simply a fashionable  stop-off for Interrailers.
Bled successful Slovenia is simply a fashionable stop-off for Interrailers. Photograph: Pintai Suchachaisri/Getty Images

A mates of years agone we took the bid from Redruth successful Cornwall to Slovenia for a household skis trip. Going via London and taking the Eurostar to Paris we past got an overnight bid done the Alps to Venice. Our girl was 7 astatine the clip and it was a large acquisition to beryllium capable to stock immoderate of the sights en way with her. She recovered sleeping connected the bid hard but the satellite lighting up the snowy peaks was a beauteous distraction. We had a greeting successful Venice earlier taking the bid to the border, crossing connected ft into Slovenia wherever the railway gauge is different, and past connected to different bid into the mountains. It was truthful superb my household person conscionable been to Greece and backmost connected the train.
Layla Astley

Venice prince

Venice is simply a favourite destination and an perfect  spot  to beryllium  stranded for an evening.
Venice is simply a favourite destination and an perfect spot to beryllium stranded for an evening. Photograph: Diana Robinson Photography/Getty Images

After going to a festival successful Venice, 2 friends and I missed the past bid with nary spot to stay. So we did what immoderate 19-year-old Interrailer would do: slumber successful the station. A suited antheral with a briefcase approached us, and asked if we wanted a drink. One person and I declined but the different said yes and helium bought her a blistery chocolate. Concerned for her safety, my eyes were glued to the beverage. “I’m a Turkish prince,” helium gushed. He opened his lawsuit and revealed its contents. I was expecting gold. Instead, it was afloat of cigarettes.
Zara

Marzipan barroom successful the Arctic Circle

Scandinavia is large to research by train. In 1988 we travelled from Helsinki to the Finnish Lakeland, feasting connected marzipan barroom for my friend’s birthday. We walked for a fewer days done the immense vigor and travelled connected to Rovaniemi. From determination we visited the Arctic Circle and enjoyed 2 ice-creams a time successful freakishly precocious temperatures. We took the autobus and bid to bluish Sweden, wherever we walked the opening of the Kungsleden long-distance way from Abisko. The tundra, dotted with reindeer, and the snow-capped mountains contrasted with the bluish skies. One of my champion holidays ever.
Mirjam Speksnyder

Please usage the comments to stock details of your ain Interrail trips

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