Tag Archives: Interrailing

See you in Paris

I arrived in Paris late. My rucksack was heavy and I wanted to go to bed. I’d been on the move for fifteen hours since waking up at 4:30am and boarding my first train in Konstanz at 6:30am.

Mumma was meeting me off the Metro at Pigalle. She’d travelled out the same day but had arrived earlier and already checked into our hotel. We were staying at Hotel Sacré-Cœur, not far from Montmartre.

Montmartre and the surrounding area is famous for being home to The Moulin Rouge, and frequented by the likes of Pablo Picasso, Henri Mattise, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Suzanne Valadon. Drinking, smoking, collaborating, and living here, Montmartre became known as a haven for artists during the period of 1872 to 1914.

It was here that we were staying.

Here that would be home for the next three nights.

Mum was excitable and chatty. I showered. The hot water washing away the day’s travelling. I could hear Mum shouting something to me from the bed room, “I can’t hear you!” I called back. Continue reading

Slovenia’s only island

When I woke up I had more energy than I’d had for days. I was full of beans and excitement. My transport for my next two destinations was sorted, and I had a vague plan for how I was going to get from Konstanz to Paris. I had slept for almost twelve hours.

I showered and sat at the kitchen table drinking coffee with Nina.

“Thank you so much for yesterday. It really meant an awful lot to me how understanding and kind you were. I had hit burn out. But I feel so much better today. So thank you.”

“That’s OK. I just wish I’d known what to do…”

“You were perfect! You gave me a hug, you let me have some space in the evening, but most of all, you gave me an unending supply of muffins. You couldn’t have done more. Really. Thank you.” Continue reading

Portishead in Prague

I got back from PAX BAR the night I arrived in Prague, and went down to the hostel bar. I was uncomfortable. I didn’t want to step out of my comfort zone. I was safe in my bubble of being alone. But that’s not the point of staying in a hostel. You’re supposed to talk to people. Meet other travellers.

I sat in the bar, alone, and thought, Why isn’t anyone talking to me? And then, Well shit Hope, you might actually have to be the one to start the conversation. The prospect was horrible. A pub quiz was taking place and everyone was sat round tables in groups already. I spotted one table. Kept telling myself to just go over and join them. It felt so unnatural. Continue reading

Goodbye Berlin. Hello Prague.

I woke up on the morning of my departure early. I wanted to make sure that I had plenty of time along the way to Prague to get lost, be confused, and make mistakes. The train journey was only four hours, but I had to catch the tram there, and then a metro and another tram on the other side too. I was really nervous that arriving in Prague would be just as frightening as arriving in Berlin had been.

Anders, true to himself, sent me on my way with a packed lunch fit for a queen. “It’s a long journey,” he asserted as he carefully placed a slice of blueberry cake first on a cardboard plate, wrapped it in baking paper, and then placed it carefully in a paper bag (all recycled and reused might I add).

When I arrived at the train station to catch my Eurostar I was suddenly so excited. I jumped up and down a little on the spot and grinned manically to myself. I’m doing this! I’m travelling! Interrailing here I come! “There’s a room over there if you’re cold ma’am.” The voice came from an American man waiting on the same platform as me.

“I’m OK, but thanks.” I smiled. He raised an eyebrow and nodded. Continue reading

The Berlin Wall

Yesterday was hard. In a way that made me not want to talk about it. I guess because I felt silly, or maybe because I was simply struggling to find the words to explain it suitably.

After a night of good food, great company, and fine discussion, I slept peacefully. I woke the next morning full of beans, and ready to embrace the bright and beautiful day. The weather here really was gorgeous.

I was up and out of the house by 10am ready to do a walking tour using ‘The Berlin Experience’ route from my guide book as a, well, guide.

I took the S-Bahn from Wollankstraße to Nordbahnhof, and walked up through the Berlin Wall Memorial.

There was a group of students in bright blue hoodies following a guide around the site. I hung back and waited for there to be distance between us. Continue reading