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If you haven’t heard of it before, an Interrail ticket is a railway pass that gives unlimited travel for a fixed period in various regions of Europe.  For all of my tours so far I’ve used global passes, i.e. for the whole of Europe for a whole calendar month.

My first of these trips was in 1996 with my son, Mark, and a student friend of his, Jim.  My second of such tours was in 2001, which I undertook on my own.  After a long gap, I got away again in 2013 for a new adventure.  The following photo albums are from 2001 and 2013 (and onwards, hopefully).

You’ll soon spot some of my favourite places that I will keep returning to, including Cologne, Copenhagen (and the Tivoli Gardens), Düsseldorf, Prague, and Salzburg (and the water gardens at Schloss Hellbrun), to mention just a few.


I flew to Düsseldorf with BA from Heathrow.  This Album is from my visits on both the outward and return journeys.  The latter visit coinciding with the Schadow Strassenfest - a street festival in the city centre with several stages of various folk (German folk) and pop & rock acts, most impressive of which was The Great Pretender, a ‘Queen’ tribute act.


From Düsseldorf, I made my way to Salzburg via Munich, and spent a couple of days in this lovely old city.  A ‘must see’ whenever I’m here is the Schloss at Hellbrun, with its amazing water gardens.  Lots of fun.


I wanted to visit Ljubljana in Slovenia, which, at the time, had only recently opened its borders to ‘The West’.  So, for reasons of personal security, I booked into a hotel in Villach, Austria, and left my bags there while I made a day trip to Ljubljana.  It was a pleasant city, and I would have liked to have seen more, but part of the train journey was covered by a replacement bus service, thus shortening my day.
The next stop was Dresden.  It rained almost the whole time I was there, so I didn’t get to see much.  I made up for this in 2013 (see below).


When I first came here in 1996, the whole city was one gigantic building site as the result of reunification following the dismantling of ‘The Wall’.  This time, the new city centre was taking shape, and I spent a pleasant couple of days here.


I visited Copenhagen both on the way in, and on the way out of Scandinavia.  On the way out, finding a hotel was difficult, as in the immediate aftermath of 11/9/2001, nobody was flying anywhere.  Overnight trains were all fully booked, too, so tramping around with my luggage (it was raining again) wasn’t too much fun.  Eventually, I found a room, but with no en-suite facilities.  It was on the fourth floor, and there was no lift.  Once I’d dried off & warmed up a bit, I decided to cheer myself up with a good meal, and a visit to the wonderful Tivoli Gardens.


From Copenhagen I went to Stockholm, where I spent a few hours before catching an overnight train to Lulea, sharing a sleeper compartment.  From there, it was a short bus ride across the border into Finland.  I spent a few hours in a sleepy little town called Kemi, from where I caught another overnight sleeper to Helsinki.


In the same way as I visited Ljubljana on a day trip from Villach, I made a day trip by jet catamaran to Tallin from Helsinki.  The old walled centre of Tallin was lovely.  After Helsinki, I had a cabin on an overnight ferry back to Stockholm.


The last album of this Tour took me to the Norwegian coast at Stavanger, having got there overnoght from Oslo.  In Stavanger, I spent most of an afternoon in a bar watching Sky News, and the awful events from 11/9/2001.  From Stavanger, I took another jet catamaran along the coast to Bergen, and from there, I got another overnight sleeper back to Oslo, where I unknowingly walked into a two-minute silence in the station following the twin towers catastrophe..



Starting from St. Pancras, London, I got a Eurostar train to Brussels.  From there I caught a local train to Liège, and ffrom there i got an ICE train to Cologne, where I stopped for a couple of nights.


The next leg took me to Innsbruck, where I didn’t stay long.  Having failed to find any accommodation, I got a night train heading further south.


Then I spent a couple of days in Salzburg - one of my favourite cities.  As usual, I took a trip by local bus to the manic Water Gardens at Schloss Hellbrunn.


Munich, and mad King Ludwig’s castle at Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau.


A couple of days in Prague.


After earlier flying visits, this was my first proper look at Dresden.


Two more days in Dresden.

Dresden 23

A long overnight journey in a sleeping car took me to Copenhagen - another of my favourite cities.


For me, one of Copenhagen’s main attractions is the Tivoli Garden.


A very brief mini-tour of Norway.


Düsseldorf - First visit.


Bochum Railway Museum - with additional pictures by Gerold Dreyer.


 Mons, Belgium.


 Back to Düsseldorf.


A day trip to Rüdesheim, returning some of the way on the Rhine on a paddle boat.


Another day trip.  This time to Königswinter, with a ride on the rack railway to the top of the Drachenfels (Dragon Rocks).


Finally, a couple more days in Cologne, including a scary cable-car ride over the Rhine, before returning home.






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