Relaxing on The Rails: Loving Train Travel in Europe

As much as I love to travel there are some things I don’t love.

Airport security queues and the old liquids and laptops out of bags, everything out of pockets and shoes off routine are up there on the list; worrying whether my bags are the right weight and how much it will cost if I’m a few kilos over the limit; all that time I’ve spent sitting around in airports and how much money and time has gone into getting between said airports and the cities I’ve come to visit.

And I love it when these problems vanish into thin air when I travel by train.

Switzerland by Train, image courtesy RailEurope

With their central arrival and departure points, lack of luggage limits and the ability to arrive a matter of minutes before the train leaves (with the exception of Eurostar which does need a little more time factored in) travel feels so much simpler and easier when I take to the rails.

But truth be told that’s not the real reason I love train travel so much. That’s merely the icing on the cake.

I adore train travel because of the way you can watch the world go by, see the landscape change, and get a real feel for the places you’re travelling through and to.

I find the gentle rocking motion and rhythmic sounds relaxing, and I also find it allows my creative side the space to play. Just as I find meditating or going for long walks in nature can help creative ideas flow more easily, so too does having the countryside go by outside my window.

Travelling through Germanu by train,image courtesy RailEurope

Having new scenes gently unfold outside somehow reaches a very sweet spot of being both soothing and stimulating and I’m often reaching for my diary to jot down story ideas, or to make big lists for things I want to achieve in my life, along with some ideas on how to actually turn them from dreams into reality.

As so many trains in Europe now have power points for charging tablets, cameras and phones and some also have free WiFi they can act as comfortable mobile offices to catch up on work or catch up with friends back home, though I’ll confess the temptation to unplug and just let my mind wander to places it usually doesn’t have time to go is often too good to give up.

Having just arrived in Europe for a few months of adventures I’ve been excitedly planning some of my upcoming rail journeys. Some will take me from country to country and city to city. Others will be day trips, or over nighters from my base in Berlin. With almost a quarter of a million kilometers of rail track to travel around Europe I won’t come close to scratching the surface of all I can do but I look forward to adding to my European train memories, including the Bergen Railway experience in Norway.

View on Oslo to Bergen Train, Norway

As I am already over here in Europe I am resisting the temptation to enter a certain competition for bloggers, writers, videographers, and really any creative types who would love the chance to be flown from Australia to Paris, and treated to a week of travelling through France and Switzerland, with all train travel, hotels, food, and of course the flights both ways taken care of by Rail Europe.

The #TalesOnRail competition is open to all sorts of creatives and the deadline for entering has been extended until the 15th of June 2016 so if you wanted to enter and thought you’d missed out, the good news is you now have another chance.

To find out more about the prize and how to enter head on over to Rail Europe’s #TalesOnRail competition page. 

Good luck with your entries, and enjoy taking your own creative sparks on a train trip to remember.

Golden Pass, image courtesy RailEurope

 

Love train travel? Find out what it’s like to travel from London to Berlin on my train dream come true – the Venice Simplon Orient Express.

You may also like to check out what it’s like to travel to Machu Picchu on the Hiram Bingham, travel Eurostar e320 business premier style from London to Paris, or take the last sleeper carriage train in Queensland, the Spirit of the Outback.

About the Author

As a journalist who loves to travel and is fond of a chat I'm oh so happy when I'm sharing travel tales and tips through my blog and on my weekly travel segment on Sydney Radio 2UE. When I'm not travelling or writing about it I can be found out and about with friends, curled up at home with a good book or watching an addictive tv show promising I'll stop after one more episode. Amanda on Google +

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  1. Peyton says:

    You should enter that competiton!!! Why are you resisting? Too busy already to fit it in I imagine!

  2. leigh423 says:

    I love the idea of train travel,but our options in the US are limited. My overnight train in Thailand was not what I’d hoped (roaches in my first class sleeper!) but I look forward to someday riding the rails through Europe!

    • First class cockroaches! That’s not sounding like the kind of travel buddies I’d like. I did love the Pacific Surfliner between LA and San Diego but have yet to do more trains in the US. But can’t wait to do some more in Europe this year too 🙂

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