Hi, we are Benjamin and Natalie. During the summer we went on a 16-day Interrail adventure through southeastern Europe. At Odense station, we boarded the first of many trains - the start of an amazing experience filled with nature, culture and fantastic memories.
From the moment we boarded the train in Odense, our adventure through Europe's magnificent nature began. Venice, with its narrow canals and romantic bridges, was our first stop. It was 8 o'clock in the morning and we practically had the city to ourselves. We wandered through the charming streets, tried out the local cafes and took advantage of the touristy empty squares to take a photoshoot or two.
That same day we took a boat to Ca'Savio and began the first few days of our vacation with sun, sand and sangrias.
When we arrived in Bled, Slovenia, we were greeted at the train station by stunning mountain views. Bled, with its famous lake, was one of the places at the top of our list. The town was like something out of a fairytale with the mountains surrounding the turquoise Lake Bled and the impressive island in the middle of the lake. In the four days we were there, we hiked no less than three times around the lake and once up to the Ojstrica viewpoint to catch a glimpse of the unique sunset over the mountains and lake. We had taken a trangia up with us and ate a bowl of spaghetti carbonara with a glass of red wine in hand to the sight of the most enchanting sunset.
Tip: It's highly recommended to rent SUP boards and paddle around the lake. It has to be one of our most memorable moments of the trip.
After Slovenia, we moved on to Gosau in Austria. It's a fantastic mountain village with plenty of opportunities for hiking. We hitchhiked most places as the bus tickets were inhumanly expensive. This way we also got to talk to a lot of the locals who made us aware of events we could take part in, such as Austrian folk dancing and music at a nearby inn. We also hitchhiked to the charming town of Hallstatt, where we spent a single day. A particularly photogenic town, which we weren't the only ones to have discovered.
The last destination on our journey was the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in southern Germany. A quiet and peaceful town, with bus routes to the famous Eibsee. A little too touristy a lake, if we do say so ourselves, but the famous cable car leading up to Germany's highest peak, the Zugspitze, was also nearby. If you're ever in the area, we'd definitely recommend taking a trip up there. You'll have to pay a pretty penny for the cable car, but the view from up there is worth it. We could also enjoy the sight of the most turquoise blue glacier while forming snowballs in our hands in the middle of July.
Then it was time to head home. Sadly, but much needed. We had filled up with new experiences and impressions that we now had to go home and digest.
Merino wool - A travel companion
Our merino wool clothing from LOOW was an item on our packing list we didn't realize we were missing. On café visits in the warm streets of Venice and hikes in the cool mountain tops of Austria, the clothes kept us warm, dry and looking good.
The breathable t-shirts were a life-saver on the long, hot and crowded train rides through Italy and Slovenia. We didn't have to worry about the typical sweat smell or the obligatory wet backpack mark on our backs, as the clothes were both odor-free and quick-drying.
As a photographer (Benjamin), this trip was a true pleasure with a camera in hand. It was almost hard not to get a beautiful shot no matter where we were! So many different images came out of the trip, from the colorful facades of Venice to the most charming mountain village in Gosau.
All in all, our Interrail trip was fantastic! Interrail is especially great because you can be very flexible. You don't have to worry about expensive parking lots or speed limits, we just had to keep an eye on the train departures. It's great to be able to visit several different countries and go from having a beach vacation in Italy to adventurous hiking in the Austrian mountains.
Go to Instagram to see all of Benjamin's amazing photos on @Benjamindalby
Tips for Interrail
- Plan flexibly: While it's good to have an overall itinerary, make sure you leave room for spontaneity.Some of the best experiences can come from unexpected stops and encounters.
- Vary your destinations: Europe is full of different cultures, landscapes and history.Try to include both big cities and more local ones.
- Pack light: Remember that you'll be carrying your luggage, so keep it light and functional. Clothes can easily be washed in the sink.
- Reserve seats on trains: Although some train journeys are flexible and don't require reservations, you may want to reserve seats on popular routes or during peak season. A general rule for us was that if the trip took more than 4 hours, we booked a seat reservation.
- Be social: Interrail is a great opportunity to meet new people. Be open to chatting with your fellow travelers on the train, in the hostel or at local eateries.
- Budget planning: While Interrail can be a budget-friendly way to travel, it's still important to have a realistic idea of your expenses. Make sure you have money for accommodation, food, transportation and any activities (booking a hostel at the last minute can get expensive!).
- Be open to adventure: The best thing about Interrail is the opportunity to experience new things and places.Be open to trying things you wouldn't normally do and be surprised by the unforgettable moments that may come your way.
- Consider the number of days at each location: We had planned around 3 nights at each location. This is highly recommended as you have time to explore the area and take it easy.