Thursday, 10 August 2017

InterRail 2017

After three weeks of lovely vacation laziness it was finally time for some action. In the middle of July me and my beloved left for a long-awaited InterRail trip. I've done it a few times before, but this was the first time we were going together, so we weren't quite sure how this would end...

17 - 19 July: Vienna
In order to save some time we took a plane down to the journey's starting point, Vienna. At the Stephansplatz we were persuaded already on the very first day to buy tickets for a classical concert the same night. It was okay, I suppose. At least if you're really, really into Mozart and Strauss.

During the stay we also visited the baroque imperial palace SchönbrunnSt Stephan's CathedralThe Museum of Modern Art and The Belvedere Palace. At lunch on our last day in Vienna the opera singer from the concert on our first night popped up again. It turned out he also worked as a waiter.

19 - 22 July: Prague
And then we started our InterRail trip for real. We took the train across the border to the Czech Republic and Prague, where we spent the evening walking in the Old Town and watching the famous (but somewhat overrated) astronomical clock.

The next day we participated in a group tour, including a walk through the Jewish Quarters (and the synagogue where Golem apparently is sleeping his eternal sleep...), a cruise on the Moldau river under Charles' Bridge, and a visit to Prague Castle. The third day we visited The National Gallery, and in the evening we watched a tradional Czech puppet show, Don Giovanni, conducted by Mozart himself.

22  - 24  July: Salzburg and Lucerne
Then we got on the train with destination Switzerland (plus one night in Salzburg on the way). First we spent two days in Lucerne, with sights like the Kapellbrücke and The Lion Monument. An unexpected highlight was Sammlung Rosengart, a private collection of classical modernists, including two floors dedicated to Picasso and Paul Klee, respectively (the latter being one of my all time favourites).

24  - 26  July: Interlaken
From Lucerne we continued our journey through an amazing Alpine scenery to Interlaken. Our original plan was to enjoy the view from various mountain tops nearby, but the Swiss weather gods blew that. Instead we visited the idyllic village Lauterbrunnen and the magnificent Trümmelbach waterfalls. (Unfortunately, Interlaken also offered my worst restaurant experience ever. Bad food and horrible service at ridiculous prices. Avoid Bebbi's Restaurant at all costs!)

26  - 27  July: Lausanne and Montreux
Then we entered the Franco-lingual part of Switzerland, where we stayed in Lausanne and made an excursion to Montreux. Here we visited the insular castle Château de Chillon and strolled along the city's riviera.

27  - 28  July: Koblenz
We were now gradually starting to head home again. After a journey through the Rhine valley with picturesque castles on the hillside, we made a stop in Koblenz, where we visited Deutsches Eck, the "corner" where the Mosel and the Rhine rivers meet.

28 - 29 July: Hamburg
Hamburg was our next destination. Evening stroll through the harbour area HafenCity, with a (clean and decent) conclusion at the Reeperbahn. The next morning: city tour by bus.

29  - 31 July: Copenhagen 
After a rather tiresome day on the road (overbooked trains, alterations in our route, no vacant seats) we finally arrived in Copenhagen. The next morning we walked through the city centre and the harbour area, where we took a boat road along the canals. In the evening I visited Tivoli, a lovely old school amusement park.

31 July - 2 August: Gothenburg
At this point the duties called for my beloved, so in Gothenburg we temporarily went our separate ways. She continued homewards, while I stayed in town for a few more days. The stay included a bus sightseeing and a boat cruise on the canals. Plus a visit to the science centre Universeum. And in the evening, the amusement park at Liseberg. (Unfortunately, there were too many and too long lines.)
The last day I joined a cruise to the fortress Nya Älvsborgs Fästning right outside Gothenburg, before I too took the evening train back home.

We had two great and eventful InterRail weeks. But at the same time it was kind of nice to be back home, too.