Three summers ago, I went by train to Naturno, Italy. I was going to the beautiful village, located right next to the mountains in South Tyrol, to visit my parents. As I planned my trip, I decided that I would go by train. Not mainly because Greta Thunberg had convinced me to, but because It seemed exciting to travel on the ground through Europe and several countries. And that trip sure became a memory for life! As summer now is closing in, the best time of the year for travelers soon arrives. In the following article, I am going to describe my journey from Sweden to Italy. Maybe you will take the train this summer?
08.00 Gnosjö, Småland
My journey started off in Gnosjö, the small city where I was born and raised. My grandmother left me and my way too big suitcase at the station, an early morning in July 2019. I stepped on the train, and the journey to my first stop had started.
12.00 Copenhagen Central station
In Copenhagen I had to switch to another train. This train took me all the way up onto the ferry that was set for Germany and, for me, Hamburg. Going by the ferry to Germany is always fun. It takes less than an hour for the ferry to cross the sea, but you have time for both some shopping and a coffee with the perfect seaview. In Hamburg, the real adventure was about to start. It was time to take the night train to Innsbruck!
18.00 Hamburg Hauptbahnhof
As I walked off the train and onto the platform in Hamburg, I understood that it is a big station. With an average of 550 000 passengers a day, it is Germany’s busiest railway station and the second-busiest in Europe after the Gare du Nord in Paris. I immediately became one of many travelers on a run, searching for the train that would take me to Innsbruck during the night. I grabbed some take-away food on my walk through the gigantic building where shops, cafés and travelers bathed in the almost oppressive evening heat. I climbed the stairs onto the night train, and found the little cabin where I was going to spend my night. I had been lucky and gotten it all for myself. On the bed, I found an envelope where I could fill in what kind of breakfast I would like the upcoming morning. I ticked the box for hot chocolate, a sandwich and some yogurt. Night train felt like a first class hotel!
The train departed shortly, rolled through the German evening sun that soon disappeared, and the night was closing in. The sound of the train against the train tracks made me tired, and I fell asleep in the German no-man’s-land after a couple of hours.
9.00 Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof
Just as I had finished eating my breakfast in bed and drinking hot chocolate with the Austrian mountains passing by outside my window, we arrived at the Hauptbahnhof (central station) of Innsbruck. I had a few hours to spare before the last train that would take me to Naturns and my parents departed, and decided to stroll around the city center of Innsbruck, an old city that is located beautifully between the mountains.
30 hours later, I had reached Naturno and the hotel where my parents were waiting for me. It has been a long adventure, but a fun one too. Traveling by train is very different from flying. Of course, going by plane is more time efficient. But it’s not an adventure! Don’t hesitate to try going by train. You will reach your destination later, but happier, and you will have visited more places while reaching for your final destination. So put on your adventure hat, maybe a waist bag for your tickets and passport, and hop on board! As you can see from the railway map above, there are no boundaries for where you can go.