Within 2 months, I’ve cover about 27 cities and towns in 12 countries. Taking the plane will save you the time, but is very expensive. The bus is the cheapest but very uncomfortable especially for long hours. Rail travel took the best of both and bring you to almost everywhere in Europe.
Europe has an extensive rail network coverage. The rail service alone covers almost all possible destinations. As such, getting the Eu rail pass is considered to be of excellent value and convenience.
Most countries in Europe participate in the Eu rail offer. In these countries in which the pass is valid, allow pass holders to unlimited first or second-class travel on the national railways and of some private railways, bus lines and shipping lines. the pass also offer generous discounts on Eurostar tickets through the channel Tunnel (Gateway between UK and Europe).
However, the Eurail pass does not guarantee you a seat. Reservation is compulsory in certain trains and is recommended when it is the peak travel periods or very long journey, if not you risk standing for the rest of the ride. The cost of a reservation made at a European railway station may vary widely depending on the country (different from the Japan Rail pass that I am so accustomed to). Thus, if you are travelling on a budget, do consider this extra cost.
Rail travel offers you to awesome scenery. Sitting comfortably and listening to your portable music, your eyes are given a feast of shimmering lakes, plunging gorges, snow-capped mountains and coastal splendors.
Interesting stories do happen on the train too.
WWII in Rome
In the early morning, we went to Rome train station, intending to take a train to Naples. The train stated on the timetable which will get us there in about 2hrs time was no where to be found. When we finally found a train that goes there, it was an overnight train from Munich and it was already packed with travellers. Many are standing along the corridors. Heard that this train was late. We were lucky when a German couple offered to share their cabin with us. However, this train ride took us more than 3hrs to reach. Well, what we did not foresee was that this delay was not the last for the day.
It was about 9pm when the train from Pompeii finally pulled into Naples train station. We saw the the train bounded for Roma Termini was still there and so we use all our might and ran towards it. We were lucky to be able to board this train which apparently was late. The cabin we hopped on was deserted.
Just as we were relaxing ourselves after a tired day trip to Pompeii, the train conductor came in to check our rail pass. Using his not very good English he asked whether our final destination was Rome. We answered yes and he started trying to tell us something using a language we don’t understand. He gave up and told us to wait. Later he came back with an Italian guy who knew some English to explain the situation to us. Apparently, along the route to Rome which this train was using, a WWII bomb was discovered and the route was closed! So, this train will only stop at a particular train station and we will have to alight, take a bus to another station and change to another train before we can reach our destination. What a day, what was suppose to be a 3 hours ride back took us 5 hours to reach Rome.