I had just finished high school and I was getting ready to go to college when I went on one of the most rewardings adventures of my life: interrail with my friends.
At first it was the upmost chaos to get a group of twelve teenagers to decide which countries they wanted to visit, how many days did they want to travel and how much money they could spare. It is important to note, that for some of us it was the first time we were stepping a foot outside of our native country (Spain), and we had no idea how to plan a trip such as an interrail.
Finally, we decided that we wanted to visit France, Germany, Czech Republic and Holland. However, we still had no clue as to what to do. As a result, we ended up checking our local youth agency to get a little help with the planning and booking. And boy, was I glad that we ask for the help! The youth workers in the agency were so nice, attentive, patient and most important helpful; not only did they helped us book everything and select which euro pass suited our needs better, but also they offered us a selection of approved hostels we could stay in, news of all the discounts we could access for being students…they even got us students cards!
That´s how our journey began. First stop: Paris!
We were so excited to have finally began our trip, to walk the parisian streets, walk down the Seine…we were even excited to try out our little knowledge of french language. Till that first day in Paris, I swear I had never walked as much as we did in that incredible city. Also in Paris we encounter our first adventure; we wanted to go to Prague, however, we failed at booking the tickets…as a consequence we had to go straight to Munich. Going to Munich, instead of going to Prague meant that we had to leave Paris a day later, and spent a night out in the streets of Paris because we hadn´t book another night at the hostel.
What at first seemed like a frightening experience turned out to be one of my top 10 funniest nights in my live! We ended up sharing food, drinks, laughs and a great time with a group of mexican young travellers and local young people. I still smile when I remember that night (FYI, that´s me and one of my friends on that great night)
Next stop: Munich!
In Munich we stayed at the best hostel I have ever seen; The Tent Hostel, near the Botanical Garden. It was actually a camping site,and we slept in a circus tent with 200 other people!! If you want to have a good rest maybe it is not the best choice, but it sure is if you want to meet other people, share some experiences and enjoy the warm summer nights. At night we would gather outside with a beer (they sell them a a very good price) around the fire and sing songs and tell stories.
We couldn´t stay in that Paradise forever, and so our next stop was Berlin.
Ah Berlin, where do I begin, I fell in love with that city the very first moment I set a foot off the train. The people, the underground culture, the pubs…I love that city so much that on the following years I have visited it repeatedly.
Another thing I vividly remember of my first time at Berlin is the distances.My friends insisted that we should go everywhere by foot…as a result it took us 4 hours to reach the remains of the Berlin Wall. At leat we got to cross from one point to the other the coolest neighbourhood of all Berlin: Kreuzberg.
Our last stop was Amsterdam. We spent the night on a train, 10 hours of travel in which I managed to read from beginning to end the first volumen of A Song of Ice and Fire, and have a passionate conversation with an american Pearl Jam fan who was following the band during their European tour (I, myself, am a Pearl Jam fan too).
When we finally arrived,as you may have already guess, it was raining.However, that didn´t stop us from getting some bikes and ride through the Vondelpark, which was in front of our hostel. We ended up soaked, but we got to see one of the most beautiful parks I´ve seen. We loved it so much, that the next days we would go to the park after having luch to rest and nap before resuming seeing the city.
Fun anecdote: In Amsterdam, I fell of my bike in front of the Rijks Museum and the whole queu stared at me half preocupied half amused and trying to contain their laughter (in my defense I will say it was raining and the roads were slippery).
After all these amazing experiences it was hard for me to say good-bye and coming back to Spain, but I promised myself I would do it again, there are still so many places I haven´t had the pleasure to visit.
So if you are wondering whether to go on interrail or do whatever else, take my advice, go on interrail. I promise you won´t regret it.
This article is part of “Cro – EU – Planet Earth” project which is funded by the European Union. Objective of our project is to inform Croatian youth and involve them in various educational, work related, volunteering and traveling opportunities. If you want to be updated on various opportunities “Cro – EU – Planet Earth”, please subscribe to our mailing list by sending us email on firstname.lastname@example.org with title “Subscribe” and put in your name and surname and year of birth.