Planning ahead with ‘Europe by Rail’

By Tedi Siminowsky
This item appears on page 12 of the December 2020 issue.
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Here is a new pastime I use to help counter the COVID-induced travel doldrums. I grab my newly arrived copy of “Europe by Rail” (authored by Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries), randomly select a page and begin an armchair train journey.

I just turned to page 266, “Route 29 Maritime Cities.” The route takes me from Amsterdam to Oslo the slow way, via train, with complete information about frequency and distances of trains for nine stops along the way. For example, with trains leaving hourly, it takes two hours to get from Hamburg to Flensburg, Germany (on the border with Denmark).

Each entry gives a European Rail Timetable reference number (www.europeanrailtimetable.eu).

Not sure which city makes a good stopover? That’s covered by suggested city/town recommendations, noting the orientation of each from the train station, the location of a tourist office and three hotel recommendations, including websites.

The maritime cities rail trip could be done in 25 hours or broken up in several sections if preferred, either for overnight stays or just walking around each town before hopping on the next train.

The 544-page book covers 52 itineraries, many of which intersect. The routes go far north to Scotland, Norway and Sweden; far south to Greece, Spain and Italy; east to Minsk, Belarus, and over the Carpathian Mountains to Lviv, Ukraine.

Sections of the book include detailed information on railpasses (including when not to purchase); a description of each journey, with historical references and interesting tidbits; suggested excursions off the train route; information on newly reestablished night trains, and more. The writing style is articulate, sophisticated, informal and humorous.

The authors are English, live in Berlin and are in love with Europe. They also have a magazine and website called hidden europe (www.hiddeneurope.co.uk).

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s random train journey. Not as good as the real thing, but I’ll be very prepared when the time comes to travel again!

TEDI SIMINOWSKY
Berkeley, CA

 

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

Here is a new pastime I use to help counter the COVID-induced travel doldrums. I grab my newly arrived copy of “Europe by Rail” (authored by Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries), randomly select a page and begin an armchair train journey.

I just turned to page 266, “Route 29 Maritime Cities.” The route takes me from Amsterdam to Oslo the slow way, via train, with complete information about frequency and distances of trains for nine stops along the way. For example, with trains leaving hourly, it takes two hours to get from Hamburg to Flensburg, Germany (on the border with Denmark).

Each entry gives a European Rail Timetable reference number (www.europeanrailtimetable.eu).

Not sure which city makes a good stopover? That’s covered by suggested city/town recommendations, noting the orientation of each from the train station, the location of a tourist office and three hotel recommendations, including websites.

The maritime cities rail trip could be done in 25 hours or broken up in several sections if preferred, either for overnight stays or just walking around each town before hopping on the next train.

The 544-page book covers 52 itineraries, many of which intersect. The routes go far north to Scotland, Norway and Sweden; far south to Greece, Spain and Italy; east to Minsk, Belarus, and over the Carpathian Mountains to Lviv, Ukraine.

Sections of the book include detailed information on railpasses (including when not to purchase); a description of each journey, with historical references and interesting tidbits; suggested excursions off the train route; information on newly reestablished night trains, and more. The writing style is articulate, sophisticated, informal and humorous.

The authors are English, live in Berlin and are in love with Europe. They also have a magazine and website called hidden europe (www.hiddeneurope.co.uk).

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s random train journey. Not as good as the real thing, but I’ll be very prepared when the time comes to travel again!

TEDI SIMINOWSKY
Berkeley, CA