I can hardly believe I’m posting this as it really does feel like only yesterday last year’s trip was being planned. As you may or may not remember during our InterRailing trip last summer I won a photography competition (don’t be fooled, a future Mario Testino I am not) which meant I got a free pass for this year. Arguably the best prize I’ve ever won. So here we are 12 months older and wiser from organising the first time round and January again has once again been all consumed with InterRailing route planning, changing and cementing. Overly organised to the point of obsessive? Yes maybe. But I’m sat here feeling (not so) silently smug with the knowledge that all our accommodation has been booked and come in under budget which, for July in Europe, is something of an achievement. Hint no.1 – June is much cheaper than July.
So, the route. After seeing lots of iconic cities last year we knew this time round we wanted to go a bit more off the beaten track and explore more of the Balkan region. The ongoing issue with this area however is that train travel isn’t quite as sophisticated as it is in the North and getting between some countries is pretty difficult. For that reason we had to sacrifice Romania, which was originally on our list, in favour of Greece/Macedonia. Which, as far as sacrifices go, is fine by me. Zeus > Dracula.
Anyway, here’s the route in all its mapped out glory-
London-Athens-Thessaloniki (briefly)-Skopje/Lake Matka–Belgrade–Sarajevo–Mostar–Dubrovnik–Split–Budapest–Vienna–Salzburg–Neuschwanstein-Munich-London. All in 23 days and using the “10 in 22 days” InterRail Global pass as well as a couple of buses and flights.
I am impossibly excited to explore all these wonderful places and I love the fact we’re finishing at Neuschwanstein which has been a dream of a fairy tale destination for years. I mean, just look at it. If you need me I’ll be the one running around creating my own musical medley of “On The Steps Of The Palace” and “Do You Want To Build A Snowman.”
Have you been to any of these places? Great! I now need all your hints, tips and must sees please! The more hidden gems we can discover the better.
Is it time to leave yet?