This is an introduction to an InterRail train journey to Germany, France and Italy. We started in Norway and transited through Sweden and Denmark.
This article is no. 1 in a series of 10. The 25 days long journey was on an InterRail train ticket a long time ago, in August 1991, to Germany, France and Italy. What follows are transcripts from my travel diary at the time. I have changed or added very little.
Friday 2.8.1991, Oslo
Not much travelling today. In Oslo we went down to the Central Station to catch the night train to Copenhagen. Our plan was to go almost directly to Paris. The three and a half weeks we have at our disposal we intend to spend in France and Italy.
We slept semi-well my girlfriend and I, in each our compartment.
Saturday 3.8.1991, Copenhagen, Lübeck, Hamburg
Copenhagen and Hamburg
A varied day. We woke up as the ferry crossed Øresund from Sweden. In Copenhagen we had a few hours before the train to Hamburg was leaving, so we first had some breakfast and went into the Strøget street. This is the main shopping street. OK.
The train to Hamburg wasn’t the most spectacular journey so I slept part of the way. In Hamburg we put our backpacks in a locker and went into town. In this case Reperbahn and adjoining pleasantries like Grosse Freiheit etc.
The area was surprisingly big – many blocks and lots of bars. Few of them had shows, but the prostitutes were lined up in five steps intervals along some of the streets.
It was also surprising to see so many people, in all ages and not only individuals or groups of males, but also couples. Lots of couples actually. It is interesting to see this area with my own eyes. It was not half as bad as expected.
Before getting this far we jumped off the train in Lübeck, the old hanseatic town. And they had indeed managed to preserve much of the past. It was pleasant, even though the shopping streets were closed for the day.
In Hamburg we boarded the train for Paris.
Our journey on a map
This is the map of our journey through parts of Europe, on this InterRail. It includes all published articles, both travelogues and the World heritage sites we visited. There are also markers indicating links to articles with pictures from a particular country (including pictures from other trips).
We travelled by train, however the lines on the map show what a road trip by car would have been. Unfortunately, it is not possible to draw train lines on Google Maps.
All chapters in this series from 1991:
(1) Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany: Here is my diary from an InterRail train journey through Sweden, Denmark and Germany, to France and Italy. (THIS ARTICLE)
(2) Paris & Versailles: Sightseeing in Paris and a day at Versailles.
(3) Normandie and Bretagne: A famous tapestry and D-Day beaches in Normandy and a strange mountain in the sea in Brittany.
(4) The Loire Valley and its palaces: Grand palaces and parks in the Loire Valley.
(5) Provence and the Cote d’Azur: The papal city of Avignon with an unfinished bridge, picturesque villages in Provence and a first look at the French Riviera.
(6) Monaco: A short stop in Monaco before continuing to Rome.
(7) Roma and the Vatican: In Italy we went to Roma (Rome), several cities in Tuscany and a final day in Venice, before returning to France. Here is first the account of the Eternal City of Rome and a visit to the Vatican.
(8) Toscana: A few hectic days in Tuscany, in the old cities of Florence, Lucca, Pisa, Arezzo and Siena.
(9) Venezia: Venice on a day trip, like many other visitors. But even a day made us realise the magic of this famed city.
(10) French Riviera: Lazy, lovely days on the Cote d’Azur… and the long way home.
We used this guidebook: