ende
ende
menu
ende

You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Train Travelling Thoughts: “Interrailing” Across Europe

4 weeks, 4.000 kilometres & just as many hours: Who would have thought that travelling by train could be so much fun. Seriously: I cannot think of any other way I could have travelled from the North Sea in Germany to Northern Spain in just as much peace, comfort and style. Simply hopping on board. Sleeping. Reading. Relaxing. Listening to music. Working. Blogging (offline, of course – until the next WiFi connection comes up 😉 ). My train ticket: All settled and paid for in advance, the only surcharges I incurred were for the use of the Eurostar or TGV high-speed trains in France and England. Altogether, my Interrail fare was a € 393,- for 10 travel days within 22 days, valid in 30 European countries. No matter if you travel two or twelve hours a day: The more you do travel, the more you make of your ticket obviously. Actually, this ticket is a bargain compared to the stress, time or money spent on 10 days travelling by plane or car. Add to this that you travel from city centre to city centre, and train travelling in Europe is hard to beat, really.

I paid for my Interrail ticket in advance through the website interrail.net and had to specify the travel period in order to make my booking.

I paid for my Interrail ticket in advance through the website interrail.net and had to specify the travel period in order to make my booking.

First of all, I will admit to flying from Vienna to Berlin in order to, well, save the first 1.000 kilometres. Let’s be honest: Some flights and car sections were there after all. ;)

First of all, I will admit to flying from Vienna to Berlin in order to, well, save the first 1.000 kilometres. Let’s be honest: Some flights and car sections were there after all. 😉

„With a little help from my friends“: Trains do not wait (and were usually really punctual). My friend Sophie sends me a screenshot of the local Berlin tramway connections, making sure I do not miss my train for Hamburg. Thank you dear!

„With a little help from my friends“: Trains do not wait (and were usually really punctual). My friend Sophie sends me a screenshot of the local Berlin tramway connections, making sure I do not miss my train for Hamburg. Thank you dear!

Above all, it pays to relax into the situation and not be too fussy: Sometimes, it is a “currywurst” at the station, other times it is back at the gourmet restaurant! Here I am at Osnabrück station on my way travelling seven hours to the International Travel Bloggers Unite Conference in Rotterdam.

Above all, it pays to relax into the situation and not be too fussy: Sometimes, it is a “currywurst” at the station, other times it is back at the gourmet restaurant! Here I am at Osnabrück station on my way travelling seven hours to the International Travel Bloggers Unite Conference in Rotterdam.

Arriving in Rotterdam: I am impressed by the city’s modern architecture.

Arriving in Rotterdam: I am impressed by the city’s modern architecture.

“Free WiFi” in London Underground Stations? Well, this always looks nicer on the billboard than it actually does work in reality, I found. ;) On my way from Rotterdam, to Bruxelles, to London, to Bournemouth!

“Free WiFi” in London Underground Stations? Well, this always looks nicer on the billboard than it actually does work in reality, I found. 😉 On my way from Rotterdam, to Bruxelles, to London, to Bournemouth!

Safe & sound: This is how you are able to look after even eight hours of train travel, three connection changes and several surcharges. I guess the Eurostar is worth it though, “flying” at half the speed of an aeroplane across France and England and underneath the English Channel. Cool!

Safe & sound: This is how you are able to look after even eight hours of train travel, three connection changes and several surcharges. I guess the Eurostar is worth it though, “flying” at half the speed of an aeroplane across France and England and underneath the English Channel. Cool!

 

Work & Travel: My Life on the road – or wheels, as in this case!

“So Elena, how does this work? You are travelling Europe for four weeks now and what about your job (are you on holiday??)? And isn’t it expensive, too … ?” Well, it is not only back home in Austria that I get asked these and similar questions. Many travel companions I meet on the trains as well as friends & colleagues keep asking me, often quite incredulous, how I do “manage it all”. Actually, dear readers, it really is quite simple. As with everything in life, it all depends on your own (positive) attitude. Often, I am very lucky to be invited at my friends’ places having to afford little or almost no hotels. Most of my money gets spend on inviting the very friends & colleagues I meet, and / or on gorgeous gourmet food on the road! Travelling with my powerful, extremely lightweight MacBook Air, I always keep my digital desktop in my pocket, working & editing travel videos in trains or on planes, writing posts offline (like now 😉 ), answering emails and sending / receiving them at the next point of connection. I am LOVING it! Always with good music in my ears, great views of the surroundings and really nice fellow travellers. As a “nice side effect”, I find I am discovering our own “home continent” Europe anew, being fascinated with the variety, creativity and diversity I encounter in the people I meet, the regions I travel. Culture shock? Is probably going to hit when I am back home … 😉 world citizens we are !!

French TGV / ICE trains are the fastest and most potent among all European trains I have travelled on.

French TGV / ICE trains are the fastest and most potent among all European trains I have travelled on.

Virtual desktop: “Creativelena” on the road.

Virtual desktop: “Creativelena” on the road.

Food on the train is often quite good, actually …

Food on the train is often quite good, actually …

… sometimes, a day of “fruit diet” gets thrown in, as when travelling for 12 endless hours across Northern Spain (San Sebastián in the Basque country to Vigo in Galicia) …

… sometimes, a day of “fruit diet” gets thrown in, as when travelling for 12 endless hours across Northern Spain (San Sebastián in the Basque country to Vigo in Galicia) …

… Fortunately, the Spanish Tortilla Bocadillos are there to save us at the end of the day! :D

… Fortunately, the Spanish Tortilla Bocadillos are there to save us at the end of the day! 😀

In Paris, I discover a bottle with source water in my own name: Elena! That’s cool. Of course, I have to buy the (overpriced) bottle. ;)

In Paris, I discover a bottle with source water in my own name: Elena! That’s cool. Of course, I have to buy the (overpriced) bottle. 😉

Good music is always there to travel with me … “Big Man” of the Australian group Boy & Bear: Check it out!

Good music is always there to travel with me … “Big Man” of the Australian group Boy & Bear: Check it out!

All in all, I can only recommend you try Interrail: In case you need any more tips, experiences or advice, drop me a line here – I am always happy to help!

All in all, I can only recommend you try Interrail: In case you need any more tips, experiences or advice, drop me a line here – I am always happy to help!

 

Check out even more comprehensive information from “Nomad is Beautiful” on “Train Travel in Europe with Interrail“! Lots & lots of really useful tips and information there 🙂

Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
18 hours in San Sebastián: Travel Tips Around “Pintxos y Vino”
Creative Travel in Galicia: "Put A Face To Tourism" in Spain

2 Comments

  1. Brian Barnett

    Hello Elena,
    I wish the United States had the rail connectivity city to city which Europe currently enjoys, but our culture revolved around the proliferation of automobiles for personal transportation since the 1940s, so we may never be ale to implement that connectivity without the proper incentive.  Many of our cities were designed around personal transport via automobiles and the highway system country wide reflect that.  We have very good trans-state highways and they are currently well maintained, but with a city by city public transportation system organized similar to those in Europe we could definitely benefit.  There is a need in the USA for better rail public transport, but the main hurdle is getting the individual cities to implement the capability.  Gasoline prices will need to exceed Europes per gallon to force the USA to think this way.  Maybe by 2035 once the crude extraction return on invetment is valid, but until then the USA will continue to require automobiles to travel cross country.  The other aspect is that each state (similar to European contrie in size in some cases) would need to be incentivised by Fedral Go ernment statutes forcing the states to comply in parallel.  With our Constitution and States rights, that would prove very difficult to implement.  It would be nice to at least see our cities unify on this concept if not state to state transport.  Time will tell.

    Reply
    • Elena

      Dear Brian,

      Very interesting thoughts, thank you for taking the time to elaborate. Last year, I’ve taken the ” VIA Rail ” Trans-Canadian Train from Vancouver all the way to Winnipeg, crossing the magical Rocky Mountains as well as the Great Plains of Central Canada along the way. It was a most beautiful trip, and one I remember dearly. I’d love for the States to promote such transportation more, too. Let’s definitely keep an eye out for it in the future : Time will tell, as you say.

      🙂

      Reply

Leave a Reply


Follow me on my travels: