Interrail 10 in 22 day 1st Class

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by tgsh2011, 10 Nov 2011.

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  1. tgsh2011

    tgsh2011 Member

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    Well I decided to do a 10 in 22 day 1st class Interrail, which I am currently progressing through. I am no rail expert and have no knowledge of locomotives etc. That being said, I did fancy the idea of exploring some of Europe by rail and experiencing some of the more premium lines; as well as increasing my country and city count!

    The pass was bought at the Rail Europe office in Lower Regent Street London last Friday (4 November) and I commenced my journey that night from Liverpool Street to Harwich (first open single for £44.50) before catching the overnight to Hook of Holland. The 'adventure' then began! A regional train to Rotterdam, which was very comfortable indeed. I then took a NS IC train to Eindhoven. This train appeared to be modern and offered free wi-fi in 1st class.

    I was able to use ICE from Eindhoven to Cologne, then onwards to Munich where i had my first overnight stop. The ICE trains were impressive and I especially enjoyed the gallery experience of sitting at the front just behind the driver!

    Next journey was from Munich to Venice using Eurocity. This appeared to be operated by Austrian Federal Railways (OBB) and offered a choice in 1st of 6 seat compartments or 4 seat business compartments. A 6 hour scenic journey with the chance to have an excellent meal in the dining car, 3 courses for EUR 25! Certainly better than a low cost flight!

    Two nights in Venice were followed by a very 'interesting' journey to Zagreb using a mixture of local, regional, and EC trains. The Slovenian local train from Nova Gorica to Jesenice offered only 2nd class but was one hell of an experience! The scenery was simply amazing and it was interesting to see the locals just crossing railway tracks like one would cross the road! The change over at Jesenice to the EC train to Zagreb was quite depressing. The station was run down, in poor repair and practically deserted. Once the EC train arrived it was practically the same as the one from Munich to Venice.

    The real adventure then begins! Zagreb to Sarajevo (where I am as I write this). Only 2nd class available on the 08:53 from Zagreb to Sarajevo. The train was run down, not very comfortable and quite and experience. We were put on a bus at the Bosnian border (Novi Grad) for 5 hours! Not a Rail Replacement Bus Service I want to experience again! Driving through the Republica Sprska entity via Banja Luka. Eventually back onto a train, which looked like it was falling apart for the remaining 3 hours into Sarajevo. The locals were friendly enough and overall it was amazing to see the county from this perspective.

    I am now about to 'cheat' and take a flight to Zurich tomorrow where i will then overnight before taking the Rail Jet to Vienna, then onwards to Warsaw. Due to commitments i need to return to London (which I will do by air from Warsaw). However, I'll still have 4 days left on my pass and I am thinking of completing the tour with a trip by rail to Oslo via Hamburg/Copenhagen/Stockholm.

    For £513 this pass was amazing value! And best of all I have avoided the supplements and reservation fees that lots of lines now have.

    A very enjoyable trip so far!
     
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  3. scarby

    scarby Member

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    Great stuff.

    If you make it to Oslo you should really go on to Bergen; the route is one of Europe's scenic highlights.
     
  4. tgsh2011

    tgsh2011 Member

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    Thanks for the tip! Unfortunately my stamina has not made it to Oslo lol! The final few days are consisting of St Pancras to Brussels Midi followed by ICE to Hamburg via Cologne/Hanover and then down to Luxembourg.
     
  5. Capybara

    Capybara Member

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    Great fun, innit? Luxembourg to Liege is a lovely run if you get the chance, though I'm not sure what it will be like at this time of year.
     
  6. tgsh2011

    tgsh2011 Member

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    I absolutely loved it and such great value as well. I read on other forums all the negative remarks about reservations and supplements. My experience was anything but. I stayed in countries where supplements etc were simply not required and the complete flexibility of the pass allowed last minute changes to my itinerary. For me I needed to make just one reservation from Vienna to Warsaw and that cost me the grand total of €3.50! Yes, one can research advance point to point fares, but then you are stuck to a fixed and completely inflexible set of plans. For something like this it is the flexibilty which must be considered.

    The highlights for me in terms of service and 'luxury' had to be the ICE trains in Germany and the Rail Jet between Zurich and Vienna. The whole exercise allowed me to tick off so many cities and countries it would have taken me a few years of weekend trips away to do usually. Also, as most of my travel is outside of Europe it was a good way to learn just what is on my own door step so to speak.
     
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