INTERRAIL TRIP AUGUST 2018
August 16: Interrail day 1
August 16 was the first day of our trip travelling with Interrail. We will be away for approximately nine days (but only travelling on seven of those days). The plan for our first day was to go from Malmö (Sweden) to Hamburg (Germany), changing trains in Copenhagen.
My journey started in Malmö, where I met up with my travel partner who arrived from Stockholm. We took the train to Copenhagen (Denmark), where we changed trains. We were in a little bit of a hurry, so we didn't have time to have lunch. Instead, we bought some snacks in the supermarket at the station in Copenhagen. We thought that there would be water and a bistro on the train, but there wasn't. So remember to bring your own water, because I had to wait until the train boarded the ferry between Rödby-Puttgarden to buy some water.
The landscape on our first day was beautiful. We travelled on bridges over water and then boarded a ferry taking us to Germany. We arrived in Hamburg a little late (approximately 15 minutes), but it was fine since we were just going to the hotel. Since the restaurant we wanted to eat dinner at didn't accept non-German cards, we decided to have dinner at the hotel instead. We stayed at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Hamburg and the room, food and staff were excellent.
Our first day looked like this (delays not included):
12.13-13.48: Malmö - Copenhagen
13.35-18.16: Copenhagen - Hamburg
I will write a post about how I planned this trip and other things to think about when travelling by train. I highly recommend travelling by train if you want to experience Europe in a more "up-close" way. Taking the train is also a lot better for the environment compared to flying. If you want to see more pictures and videos from my trip, there are stories on my Instagram page (@emma.lennhammer) called Interrail 2018.
August 17: Interrail day 2
We woke up early to have breakfast before taking the train to Frankfurt. There was some kind of problem with the train and it was late, so we were worried that we would miss our connecting train in Frankfurt. Deutsche Bahn solved the problem quickly, and we could board a new train which wouldn't be as late. However, that train broke down too (when we had reached Hagen) and we had to hop on a train to Köln instead of Frankfurt. We had no idea what to do next, but with the Deutsche Bahn app and help from other travellers, we chose to take a train from Köln to Karlsruhe, and then another train from Karlsruhe to Paris.
Our second day would have looked like this:
But instead it looked like this:
Hagen-Köln (don't remember the times)
I had a really nice day, even though there were delays due to broken trains and apparently a medical situation with one of the other passengers. We had seat reservations for the route we were supposed to take, but since the trains broke down we couldn't use them. We thought there might be a problem, but the staff on the other trains we took said that everything was fine since we had the Interrail tickets.
When we arrived in Paris we were just a little more than an hour late, so it wasn't so bad after all.
August 18: Interrail day 3
August 18 was spent in Paris. Since we've been here before, we didn't visit the usual sights such as the Eiffel tower. Instead, we went on a long walk through the city and had a nice lunch at Sourire which serves French tapas. The food was good, but not excellent.
Per usual, we had crêpe in the afternoon and couscous for dinner. My mother lived in France for approximately five years, where she learned to enjoy marocain couscous. Therefore, it's a tradition in my family to always eat couscous when visiting France. We had our couscous dinner at a place called Wally Le Saharien. It's not the best couscous I've had, but it was good (expensive though).
This was the first day of our trip that we didn't take a train, and it was nice for a change. Even though I really appreciate travelling by train, I get quite tired of the constant travelling. Taking a long walk through Paris was a nice change.
August 19-20: Interrail day 4-5
After lunch on August 19, we went to Reims outside of Paris. We stayed here for two nights to have time to really get to know the city. We visited the cathedral which was just beautiful. Reims is quite an old city, so the buildings tell stories about the town's history. Otherwise, it looks like any other French town, with its magnificent buildings and French food.
For dinner, we had couscous - again. This time at the restaurant Le Riad in Reims, which serves delicious couscous in a nice setting. The service was excellent and I can highly recommend the restaurant.
We stayed at the Best Western Premier Hôtel de la Paix and it was alright. The breakfast wasn't great and the wifi didn't reach our room - something I find quite basic. The internet should be reachable and work great according to me, which is a big fail for the Best Western in Reims.
On the 21 of August, it was time for us to move on. This time to Paris - Brussels - Amsterdam.
August 21: Interrail day 6
We left Reims and France on August 21. First, we took the train from Reims to Paris and then from Paris to Brussels. We had lunch in Brussels, but the food near the station wasn't that good. Note to self: Don't bother to stay in Brussels for lunch again. If you want to visit Brussels, you have to stay there for at least a night.
After having lunch in Brussels, we took the train to Amsterdam. Amsterdam is by far one of my favourite cities in Europe, even though it's always crowded. They have excellent food, beautiful surroundings and you can walk everywhere. I even found a shop where you can buy fair and sustainable fashion and I will tell you all about it in another post.
We had dinner at a restaurant called d&a hummus. I visited d&a hummus the last time I was in Amsterdam, in 2016 when I and my family travelled in Europe with a Tesla. The food at d&a hummus is excellent. They have a wide assortment of dishes and they all taste wonderful. I will probably eat there again, the next time I'm in Amsterdam.
After having dinner, we went for a walk and saw the beautiful canals. We went to bed quite early, since we were tired from our trip that day. We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel in Amsterdam.
This was our train route for the day:
Reims - Paris: Don't remember the time, but it took approximately 45 minutes.
Paris - Brussels: 10.23 - 11.47
Brussels - Amsterdam: 14.52 - 16.42
August 22: Interrail day 7
August 22 was both an eventful and uneventful day. Before taking the train to Berlin, we went for a walk in Amsterdam. I wanted to visit a sustainable store called Nukuhiva. They sell clothes which are made in an environmentally friendly and fair way. As a minimalist, I rarely buy new clothes. However, I bought three pieces at Nukuhiva, since I had been needing a dress and a pair of trousers. I bought two dresses, one black and one red, and a pair of black trousers which are extremely comfortable.
In the afternoon, we took the train to Berlin and the rest of the day was spent on the train. We arrived in Berlin the same evening and checked in to the hotel we had booked; Hotel Steigenberger Am Kanzleramt. The hotel probably upgraded us, since we received a room with both a living room and bedroom. As you can see, the bathroom was huge with both a shower and bathtub with a large window. We went to bed straight away since we had been on a train for several hours.
The train route looked like this:
Amsterdam - Berlin: 15.00 - 21.22
August 23: Interrail day 8
Day eight on our trip was spent in Berlin. I haven't been to Berlin in ages, so I really looked forward to it. After having breakfast at the hotel, we started our day. We tried to see as much as possible of the city and visited the important landmarks. When we felt that we had seen what we wanted to see, we decided to have a vegan lunch at the Bowl and then visit two sustainable stores; Loveco and UVR connected. We didn't buy anything since we didn't feel the need.
I had booked a table at the vegan restaurant Kopps in Berlin. I had read a lot of great things about their food, but I honestly didn't find it excellent. It was okay. It tasted a bit like a forest, for some reason, and it felt as if they had made things more complicated than they have to be. It was a bit disappointing, but at the same time, I realised that we're lucky that we have so many excellent vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Sweden.
We went for a walk on the way back to the hotel and were able to see Berlin at night. I really enjoyed Berlin and would find it lovely to go back sometime.
August 24: Interrail day 9
August 24 was the last day of our trip and we spent the whole day travelling. We started in Berlin and went to Hamburg. From Hamburg, we took a train all the way to Copenhagen and then the train to Malmö. There were no delays until we reached Copenhagen. When we arrived at the station we realised that all the trains to Sweden were either delayed or cancelled. The only train we could take was packed with people. When we arrived in Sweden, the first station was Hyllie and they told us that the train would stop there. We wanted to go to Malmö central station, but the trains didn't come. Instead, we decided to take the bus and when I came home I was so happy. I really enjoy visiting new places, but coming home always feels so good.
The train route looked like this:
Berlin - Hamburg: 09.06-11.11
Hamburg - Copenhagen: 11.28-16.26
Copenhagen - Sweden: So many delays, I have no idea how long it took.