When people ask me ‘what is my hobby,’ I say “travel.” And I’m talking about not just a bus/flight somewhere, but traveling around the world by foot (eventually)! While that is a goal that I still hope to accomplish one day, being back in Europe has enabled me to achieve a bit of this wishful “traveling”! And here, I hope to share some of the fun and beautiful experiences I had and continue to have.
The EURail Pass:
This summer (2012) as I do my internship at the U.S. Mission to the UN in Vienna, Austria, I have decided to take a step forward to fulfill that dream. Hence, the first thing I did within the few days I arrived in Vienna was to buy my EUrail pass! The beauty of Europe train system is that they are so easy to use, so easy to access, and are mostly on-time (if you stick to the Germanic-speaking-countries). I got the Youth Global Pass ticket to travel any European country for any 10 days within 2 months. (Plus, the price is also nice. You can check more out at http://www.eurail.com) So each weekend I have been jumping on a train to reach another city, and another country with a glee.
THE AMAZING ONE-DAY TRIP DEAL:
The first time I did this I started taking train rides on Saturday morning. But I wouldn’t be able to do that if I wanted to go somewhere further, such as Berlin, Paris, or Rome. Luckily, EURail Pass offers a great deal called the 7-pm rule! It’s brilliant. The basic idea is that if you take a train that departs pass 7pm but arrives pass mid-night you can treat that trip as 1 day, the day you arrive. Thus, if I do an overnight train to one location, even though I’m spending two days on the train, on the record it will count as only one day! Ever since that discovery I have started to be more daring with my trips, to go farther and to try longer train rides.
For instance, I now take the train Friday nights to arrive at my destination on Saturday morning. I will still have the entire day to myself until I jump back on the train Saturday night to return back to Vienna by Sunday morning or afternoon. Hence, most train rides each week are more than 10 hours. But it’s not that bad. I often sleep, since its night-time anyway, or watch the beautiful scenery I pass each city – which are almost always breathtaking.
In fact, thanks to the train rides and maps, I’m getting a better sense of this area’s geography everyday.