bretzelitos

Sven and Andreas' vacations – Published for friends at Wordpress :)

Interrail Summary

What a trip!

I enjoyed it from the start to the end – did not feel any stress and had a lot of fun, seeing new things, talking to different people, visiting cities I have not been to before and most important for me – taking tons of trains on tracks I have not be riding on before.

Price-Value-Ratio of the 15 days continuous pass is absolutely great. I have paid Euro 478 for the Summer Special in First Class. Having a look at the normal prices you have to pay for, I had the pass reimbursed after the first two and a half days. To be very honest, it is such a great deal that I would pay even a bit more for it.

So I made it – 15 days, 15 cities. It is absolutely doable if you are interested rather in traveling than in seeing the cities you visit. I have done some monster trips during my travel, for example Berlin to Budapest in 11 hours. I would not plan that as such with my today’s knowledge – trips of six to eight hours are more than reasonable and acceptable to reach out into a complete new region – or country. It is also important to leave your last city between nine and ten in the morning to arrive then between four and six in the afternoon at you destination. This gives you – in Summer here in Europe – enough time to see the city sights in daylight and to have a good dinner of your choice after checking in in the hotel, pension or hostel of your choice. Some hotels also give you a travel card for the local city railways system for free – included in their budget price. This was definitely a bargain, how ever, I always did a lot of walking as well – at minimum 10000 steps in every city.

I made a plan prior to my trip – which was helpful – but you are less free, for sure. As I did the plan and even so I had loads of delays and schedule changes during my trip, it helps you to stick to a schedule of cities your would like to see.

Very helpful as well was the hotel booking portal of booking.com. I have booked all 14 one-night stays with them. I can’t say that it was cheap – but it was also partly me, like going to Amsterdam during Gay Pride, going to Freiburg during a sport event and The Kelly Family concert exactly that evening. Well, never mind, all fine.

Another two pieces of advice I take out of the travel planning and doing it afterwards as such:

  • It is highly advisable not to travel on the main routes during weekends in Summer as all vacationists from Europe tend to travel on weekends by train. I have seen this especially during my trip to Binz auf Ruegen, towards Amsterdam in the afternoon and towards and from Kiel
  • Do a seat reservation for the long distance trains you are traveling with. The prices are quite low and you will get a seat for sure.

 

So let us see the statistics of my travels:

Planned cities: 15

Seen cities :15

Not arrived in a city due to issues with the trains system: Zero

Planned total train distance: 10240 kilometres

Longest delay in a train: 85 minutes – Arrival in Budapest

Forced train changes due to break downs, stops before destination: Two

  • Day Two: Berlin to Budapest – Complete train change in Dresden
  • Day Four: Munich to Amsterdam – Train overload, Air Conditioning failure, Board electronics issues

And now some personal opinions:

Best hotel room: LINDNER DOM HOTEL in Cologne

Best hotel bar: DECK 8 in ATLANTIC HOTEL in Kiel

Best hotel pool: MARITIM HOTEL in Nuremberg

Best hotel breakfast: FALKENSTEINER HOTEL in Prague

Best evening restaurant: There is a tie… ALSTADTBEISL in Innsbruck and BANTER RUINE in Wilhelmshaven

Best train product: By far on top RAILJET of OEBB in Business Class – rated top value in comfort, personal on-board service, Internet access, food, space for luggage, accuracy of reservation, on board communication in multiple languages, on-board displays and on-time performance

Best tourist train option: PANORAMA coach of SBB in the Transalpin Intercity from Inssbruck to Graz

Summary of highly interesting places passed through by train:

  • Elbsandsteingebirge in the Elbe valley between Dresden and Prague
  • Mittelrheintal in the Rhine valley between Koblenz and Mainz
  • Arlberg Pass between Bludenz and Oetztal –  up to 1300m altitude
  • Alps Passing from Innsbruck to Graz
  • Semmering Pass between Graz and Vienna – up to 900m altitude – including the whole Suedbahn track, an UNESCO world heritage rail track construction

Best local transport options: INTERCITY HOTEL in Berlin and Freiburg

Best price/value ratio for one night: MARITIM HOTEL in Nuremberg

Fastest velocity: 300 km/h between Munich and Nuremberg in an ICE3 of Deutsche Bahn

 

Bottom lines:

  • I will definitely do it again – applying the advice I found for myself
  • I had a lot of fun, you cannot imagine
  • I met loads of people
  • I have seen really a lot – places I have not seen before, some even a discovery for me
  • I have been to seven different European countries in 15 days
  • I have used train products of five different countries

 

My dear readers – my INTERRAIL blog for 2018 comes to an end here. If you have any questions about it, feel free to ask using the comments function. And remember – there are no stupid, crazy or irrelevant questions – I know of the existence of  stupid, crazy or irrelevant answers, but I will for sure not give any of these types.

Thank you for your interest in my travel documentation 🙂

INTERRAIL ticket

 

 

Day Fifteen – Wilhelmshaven to Obernburg

Last day of travel yesterday – and for sure with a good replanning of routing. But I did not mind at all.

After having breakfast in the ATLANTIC Hotel in Wilhelmshaven, I took a taxi towards the Central Station where I started my journey at 0844 in the morning. Plan has foreseen to travel via Osnabrueck and Duesseldorf back to my parent’s home in Obernburg. Just after leaving Oldenburg, I received the message that the train to Duesseldorf has been exchanged and has at minimum 40 minutes delay due to some issues close to Wolfsburg – means, I do not have my reserved place anyhow and I will not be able to reach my train connection in Duesseldorf by any means. Hence: Replanning! I consulted the DB Navigator and found out that there is a connection possibility via Hannover and Wuerzburg towards Aschaffenburg – even with enough places available.

That was reserved quickly and I took a Regional Express train to Hannover, changing there into an ICE to Wuerzburg – the relation takes only two hours. And then back to Aschaffenburg through the Spessart mountain hills with an ICE in just 38 minutes.

The last trip of this 15-day-journey was with the local Regional Bahn to Obernburg stopping at every house.

My dad picked me up at Obernburg train station and brought me to their house – where two cats were waiting for me 🙂