Following on from the previous post with tips for using a Global Interrail Pass (or Eurail for non-European residents), here’s a month’s Interrail route that makes great use of a flexible Europe-wide pass. On the whole it avoids countries that require seat bookings and supplements. All journeys were free with the pass apart from the the short ride from Jenback to Fügen (Austria) and the Swiss Bernese Oberland mountain railways/cable cars (the Interrail gave a 25% discount though).
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Travel day 1 | Using the rail pass from London
From Devon, UK to Namur, Belgium. This was as far as we could comfortably travel whilst avoiding an expensive overnight in Brussels. It also avoided routes into Germany that were somewhat unreliable at the time. Namur is cheaper than Brussels and has a bar called Barnabeer with 47 beer pulls!
We stayed in BED Namur-Premium at the start and end of our trip. It’s a self-check-in property with a shared kitchen.
Travel day 2 | Belgium to Luxembourg by train
Namur to Luxembourg. Back when I was a tour guide in the 1990s, our coaches often diverted to Luxembourg to fuel up with cheap diesel. In frustration I’d gaze out at the city clustered above, below and along the edges of a deep river gorge, unable to leap off and explore. Now, after all those trains, it was a pleasure to walk this charming city. You can make use of elevators to move between the upper town and the valley.
We spent the night in the central Auberge Gaglioti, which was fine and fairly central in the new town. Luxembourg isn’t hot on budget accommodation.
Travel day 3 | Luxembourg to Strasbourg using trains
Luxembourg to Strasbourg (France). Strasbourg was a morning stop on our 1990s coach tours, although there wouldn’t be time for more than a quick stroll around the waterways and 16th century buildings of Petite France and a glimpse of the Cathedral’s astronomical clock.
Nowadays Petite France is busier, but no less enchanting . . . even when the peace was broken by a guitarist practising Wish You Were Here, the chords flying out of an open window on the upper floor of a half-timbered building.
We found the Aparthotel Adagio to be a good place to stay – out of the main buzz but still close to the centre. The mini kitchen in the room is a bonus when you’re on an extended trip.