I recently had the most amazing adventure during my two-week rail tour across Europe. The journey began in Sweden, where I had the pleasure of visiting my best friend of 17 years. We celebrated his well-deserved Master’s degree graduation in the beautiful city of Lund. After a few delightful days in Lund, my friend and I hopped on a train to Copenhagen, and boy, was it a treat!
Copenhagen welcomed us with its stunning sights and charming flat terrain. There were no mountains or hills to worry about, but the city’s architecture and canals were breathtaking. I couldn’t help but immerse myself in the experience. From there, we embarked on an exciting train ride to Dresden for a quick stop before reaching our first major destination, Prague.
Arriving in Prague was like stepping into a fairytale. The harmonious blend of natural landscapes, with its lush trees, and the rows of elegant buildings left me in awe. As someone from South Africa, the efficient and punctual public transport system in Prague was a revelation. And let me tell you, Prague at night takes on an even more enchanting ambience. Every building and street is illuminated, creating a surreal atmosphere that I’ll never forget.
Next on our itinerary was Budapest. After a long train ride through Slovakia, we finally made it to this remarkable city. As we ventured further east, we noticed that fewer people spoke English. It was quite interesting to learn that those over 25 in Budapest rarely spoke English. Nonetheless, we had an amazing time exploring the city’s vibrant nightlife, visiting rooftop bars and belting out tunes at karaoke joints. During the day, we soaked in the beauty of Budapest by visiting landmarks such as the Shoes on the Danube Bank, and the Parliament buildings, and strolling alongside the majestic Danube River.
Munich was our next stop, and let me tell you, the train ride through Austria was an absolute feast for the eyes! In my opinion, it was the most picturesque part of Europe. Although we only spent one night in Munich, and it happened to be a German holiday, we made the most of our time there.
Our final destination was Amsterdam, and what a memorable end to our journey it was! As we travelled through the Netherlands, we marvelled at the picturesque open fields and charming small towns. Throughout the trip, one thing stood out everywhere we went—bicycles! It seemed like everyone was on two wheels, and they even had dedicated lanes just for cyclists. Amsterdam took this bike culture to a whole new level.
Stepping out of the train station, we were greeted by a breathtaking view of a massive canal, where people were leisurely chatting and relaxing with friends. We couldn’t resist indulging in a delightful meal and some refreshing beers at Vondel Park. The park was teeming with groups of people, friends, colleagues, and families, all enjoying a fantastic and relaxing Friday afternoon. We stayed in Amsterdam for two nights, exploring the enchanting canals, admiring monuments and statues, and indulging in the amazing Croquette—a true culinary delight!
All in all, my rail tour through Europe was an unforgettable experience. From the lively cities to the picturesque landscapes, I met incredible people and made memories that will last a lifetime. If you’re planning a trip to any of these incredible destinations, embrace the local culture, soak in the beautiful sights, and indulge in the unique experiences each place has to offer. Happy travels!