It was either go big or go home after my awesome trip through Finland so like Madonna circa 1990, I’m heading off on a huge blond(e) ambition tour of my own.
For this lil’ jaunt I’ve teamed up with Eurail.com for an ambitious solo train mission around the continent that is hopefully going to bring me pretty close to accomplishing my goal of visiting every country in Europe. I say hopefully because I seriously have no idea how this is going to pan out and thus far nothing has gone as planned. Will get to that in a sec.
Also important to mention here is that this trip is going to go incredibly fast. Whereas I usually like to take my sweet time, I will be lucky if I get more than a few hours in some places as I only have one month to make the most out of my two-month Global Pass with 15 travel days. I have a flight back to the States on June 14th – from Finland.
Given the tight timeframe, I had to set some serious parameters for this ambitious tour. For starters, I will only be attempting to hit the countries left on my European to do list that are part of the Eurail network. Belgium, Luxembourg, Northern Ireland, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Greece are all potential stops, though looking at a map, not so sure all will be feasible. Especially since I just discovered my Global Pass is not valid in Montenegro or Serbia (they only offer Select passes for Serbia and not at all for Montenegro for non-Europeans) which is going to make it a little tricky trying to get to Bulgaria.
Second rule is that I am not allowed to visit any countries I have been to before unless they are at a convenient stopping, starting, or ending point when making my way between the ones mentioned above. As much as I would love to pop over to Poland for some vodka and pierogies or down to Portugal for some sexy beach time in the Algarve, it’s just not going to happen this time around. Gotta keep my eye on the prize, you know?
So I’m writing this to you right now from ROTTERDAM, HOLLAND where I am officially kicking this thing off because I missed my train connection to Brussels from Hamburg today. Must have been meant to be as I have some friends here right now who I’m happy to kick it with, but if this is any sign for what’s to come, then it’s going to be a reaaaaal interesting three weeks. In the end though, what happened today has served as an excellent reminder about what is so beautiful about rail passes – you can be as spontaneous as you want with them.
With that said, watch what happens live. I will be posting as much as many updates on my whereabouts as I can on Facebook and Instagram and would love for you to follow along. I’ll need all the moral support and encouragement that I can get and advice is also welcome if you’ve traveled to or in between any of the countries I haven’t been to yet. Wish me luck!
Cheers to Eurail.com for providing me with a complimentary Global Pass. I will be putting together some information on traveling around solo for them so feel free to leave any questions, comments or concerns on the matter that you’d like me to address.
MalteMay 18, 2013 at 12:21 am
Ha, Eurail seems to be all over the place on travel blogs at the moment :D I’d love to see you write about montenegro/Bulgaria/etc., but that seems unlikely, huh? Still, have fun.
LarissaMay 18, 2013 at 10:55 am
I think Northern Ireland and Greece are going to be the most unlikely to be honest. We’ll see what happens though because those are the two I am having the hardest time figuring out how to get to in a relatively short amount of time. Either way, I’m certain it is going to be fun :) Thank you!
SteveMay 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm
Lucky you, enjoy your trip. Particularly Belfast if you get there.
LarissaMay 29, 2013 at 9:01 am
Thanks, Steve (and sorry it took me so long to respond!). Not going to make it to Belfast it looks like unless I want to stay on a train for the rest of my trip :) Over in the east now, will just have to try and hit it the next time I am in and around the UK.
RobMay 19, 2013 at 5:17 pm
A little ambition goes a long way in today’s world.
LarissaMay 29, 2013 at 9:01 am
It does, it does. Thank you!
Burton MckinneyJune 20, 2013 at 2:03 pm
With a global interrail pass you can visit most of the countries in Europe for one month. Some countries like the Baltic countries and Albania aren’t included in the global pass, but aside from that you have the chance to visit most of the European countries. If you want to travel outside the countries that are included in the global pass you will have to buy a separate ticket. I want to buy another global interrail pass in the future. I would travel from Denmark to Poland and from Poland to Ukraine and from Ukraine to Moldova. From Moldova I would continue through Romania and Bulgaria and then I would visit Istanbul in Turkey and from Greece or from Macedonia I would find a bus to Albania. After Albania I would return to Denmark and hopefully I would have time to visit some places in Croatia and Slovenia on the way back. I would need a separate ticket for Ukraine, Moldova and Albania. If you had a global interrail pass and you were able to travel around in Europe for one month which countries would you visit and why would you choose those countries? Would you stick to the countries that were included in the interrail pass or would you visit some the countries that weren’t included like the Baltic countries, Ukraine, Moldova, Albania and Morocco?
HelenJuly 7, 2013 at 8:01 pm
Have a great time on your trip!
Loving the title – channelling your inner Madonna!
LarissaJuly 14, 2013 at 8:38 pm
Thanks, I finished up with it about a month ago but definitely still wishing i were on it.