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My 5 day itinerary! Make sense?

  • 10 February 2023
  • 17 replies
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Hi… I’m planning a 15 day continuous EURAIL trip in November and I’m doing the planning stages now (February!)
The image shows my itinerary (from England) and it seems to make sense to me. 

If anyone has any thoughts or ideas that can help me improve or adjust it, I would be grateful.

This trip is a ‘practice trip’ and a few months later I’ll try a longer one, probably to Greece and Italy.
But this is my (flexible) plan for this November. :)

Thanks for looking!
 

 

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Best answer by rvdborgt 10 February 2023, 19:46

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You will need an Interrail pass. Eurail is for non-Europeans.

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Makes sense, just make sure you reserve your Eurostar nicely in advance :)

November is usually quite calm, so the rest of the trains you might want to reserve (predominantly TGV's) will have plenty of availability. These can be booked about 3-4 months before departure. 

Do you want to get to Luxembourg over Belgium, or over France? 

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I won't be stopping over in Luxembourg, other than to change trains. So the fastest or easiest route is the one I'll go with. 

Thanks for your reply. 🙂

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Outward is fairly time-eating: many changes and via LUX-and even more that industrial north of FR/Lorraine, not overly interesting. You could also go onward to DE from LUX and change Trier for a more scenic ride along MOsell river (partly then)-but Saar is also mostly industrial heritage. Any specific reason to choose Metz of all? IF you feel very Brit: in Saarbrücken are now even 2 Premier HTLs-with same stdd as in UK, if not better and very close to station.

IF you do a stop in LUX: all transport there is free-also trambus etc. Could be a nice daytrip from either Metz or Saarbr.

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Thanks. 

I'll take all that on board as I refine my trip. 

I added Metz only because I saw a couple of YouTube videos on it and it was a convenient stop on my 'loop' of a trip. 

I'll study what you have written and make adjustments after I check them out. 

I have another eight or nine months to fine-tune my itinerary, and I'm sure I'll be making changes in the run up to departure. 

Mark

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As a first foray into European rail travel this looks really good, especially using Lille as your E* station. Unless Paris is on your MUST DO list I would even be tempted to return from Lille and do one night there each way. 

Alternatively start with Brussels and end with Lille. Then you could add Brussels/ Cologne/Heidelberg and visit Metz after Dijon before returning to Lille.

Lille is a lovely small city with the station an easy walk. The medieval square has plenty of restaurants and hotels to choose. I don;t however think it worth 2 nights with a full day in the city.

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Actually, doing Lille on the return leg is a good idea. I’ve been to Paris (yawn) so I don’t ‘need’ to do that.
Also, I had never thought about kicking off at Brussels… I’ll look into that further.
The idea of 2 days in Lille was to have a full day exploring it as on the first day/night, I’ll be arriving late afternoon.
Also, as I’ll be 63 and not in the best of health, I want to pace the actual travelling so it doesn’t get too exhausting.15 days lugging a backpack every day won’t be much of an adventure.

Thanks for adding to my ‘ideas’ list.

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Actually, doing Lille on the return leg is a good idea. I’ve been to Paris (yawn) so I don’t ‘need’ to do that.
Also, I had never thought about kicking off at Brussels… I’ll look into that further.
The idea of 2 days in Lille was to have a full day exploring it as on the first day/night, I’ll be arriving late afternoon.
Also, as I’ll be 63 and not in the best of health, I want to pace the actual travelling so it doesn’t get too exhausting.15 days lugging a backpack every day won’t be much of an adventure.

Thanks for adding to my ‘ideas’ list.

As a fellow retiree I agree entirely with balanced travelling. We did Lille arriving late afternoon and enjoyed an evening promenade from our hotel (5 mins from square) and a nice meal. Next morning another short walk and a Belgian breakfast at L’Abbaye (half the price of the hotel) and then checkout and stroll up to station (10 - 25 mins) and a tour of the shopping centre next door for an early afternoon train, giving us plenty of time to get to Leeds early evening. 
We found your plan of travel and stay 2 nights to be quite workable, with travel between 3 and 8 hours in a day.

We also stayed in Nuremberg for 3 nights and day tripped a couple of local towns (Amberg, Regensburg and Bamberg - easy regional trains and a few hours walking round.)

If you use your pass for ICE trains it is amazing how far you can day trip with no luggage from a centre such as Nuremberg. These trains cover 150km per hour so a 9am departure and 5pm departure can easily cover a range of 200Km. By the way seriously consider first class and booking an optional seat in ICE trains - We are too old to play musical seats.

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We also stayed in Nuremberg for 3 nights and day tripped a couple of local towns...
(Amberg, Regensburg and Bamberg - easy regional trains and a few hours walking round.


I like this idea a lot. I’ll definitely explore this option… although, I may save Germany for a 15 day ‘One Country’ trip of its own. 
Also, as you say, the older you get, the more resistant we become to discomfort and inconvenience.
It looks like my final itinerary won’t look much like the one I first posted! 
The more advice and tips I get (and read elsewhere) the more I learn. 😂

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We also stayed in Nuremberg for 3 nights and day tripped a couple of local towns...
(Amberg, Regensburg and Bamberg - easy regional trains and a few hours walking round.


I like this idea a lot. I’ll definitely explore this option… although, I may save Germany for a 15 day ‘One Countfly to Nicery’ trip of its own. 
Also, as you say, the older you get, the more resistant we become to discomfort and inconvenience.
It looks like my final itinerary won’t look much like the one I first posted! 
The more advice and tips I get (and read elsewhere) the more I learn. 😂

That is the beauty of Interrailing - Infinite combinations and choices and easy to change plans.

Our first foray was a flight to Catania (Sicily) a couple of days in Syracuse, an 8 hour train to Salerno (o/n), Train to Bolgna for 2 nights, Train via Brenner pass and Munich to Nuremberg (3 nights), train to Brussels (via Frankfurt) (o/n) Eurostar home. (5 travel days plus 2 days regional ticket)

Due to illness second half of 10 days in 2 months first class pass changed from Fly to Nice, across to Venice, up to Vienna and on to Prague (9 days and 5 travel days), to Fly to Nice, 2 nights in Monaco, TGV to Paris and on to Lille (overnight) and back to UK. used 4 travel days including local trains from Monaco along the coast.

 

p.s. always book refundable hotels and consider aparthotels - we do a lot with Accor hotels (Ibis/Mercure/Adagio plus several other brands or booking.com. Accor often have hotels near stations and multi day offers so sign up as a member.

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Eerily similar trips to the ones I have planned for the future… especially the Italy one… Starting in Sicily and working slowly up through italy is definitely one for the future.
Also the Monaco, Nice and Cannes foray is on my agenda for a future trip. Maybe a ‘one country’ trip to France, as there’s so much to see.
I’m still looking toward setting up a ‘base camp’ and doing shorter excursions from it for up to three nights, but not on this trip. 

This first train journey is kind of a ‘practice trip’ in which I want to try out all levels of accommodation and trains, and also as it’s a pretty ‘comfortable’ round trip (as it stands at the moment) it will build up my confidence to take the more distant and more remote trips later. Just navigating large railway stations in big cities gives me the heebie-jeebies at the moment! (I’ve plotted at least 30 minutes between changes so I can drag myself and my wheeled backpack between platforms!

Cheers!

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 ...is also mostly industrial heritage…

mcadv said this in an earlier post.
I’ve noticed this too, from watching travel videos on YouTube…

This seems to happen in a lot of larger cities of course, as railways are used for freight.
You have to pick your moments when to look out of the window! 

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Next morning another short walk and a Belgian breakfast at L’Abbaye

Just curious: what's a Belgian breakfast? With waffles?

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Next morning another short walk and a Belgian breakfast at L’Abbaye

Just curious: what's a Belgian breakfast? With waffles?

Yeah, we might learn something new about our own country 😅. 

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all right I admit it I got it wrong - The Abbaye brasserie is not in Belgium, but it does a great breakfast in what I thought was more Belgian than French - i.e. a lot more than a croissant and coffee.

https://www.labbaye-brasseriepub.fr/

Unfortunately it doesn’t show the breakfast menu.

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Any specific reason to choose Metz of all?
 

mcadv wrote the above question so I revisited the idea.
I still like what I’ve seen so it stays… at least for now!
It looks similar to an English cathedral town in some ways, but without the yobbos and crackheads!
It’s definitely worth a day’s walk about.
 

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I’ have taken on board a lot of the advice that I have gotten so far and done a lot more research and have now finalized my trip stops.

I have also gotten my rail pass which was 10% off and being over 60 years old helped a bit so that was just £361!

I was going to go just for a couple of weeks but have extended the trip to 22 days.
The first day of travel will commence on 13th October. (The shoulder season!)

All the hotel and hostel rooms are either booked/reserved/paid for.
The train journeys will start being reserved closer to the time…
(I’ll start booking the extras, etc about 85 days before the actual travel dates.)
 

 

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