January 19th, 2009 11:08 EST
Exciting Train Trips Around Europe Part 2
Train trips in Europe have been an important part of my life. Now, in my old age, I have to suffice with sharing their memories with my friends.
From Nice to Rome:
Although there are very many interesting possibilities of stops between Nice and Rome, (e.g.)
Monaco, St.Remo, Genoa, Cinquaterre, Siena and other smaller towns, if you are in hurry to get to Rome, a night sleeping car is the best way to reach Rome. You wake up at Rome`s delightful railway station, enjoy a nice breakfast at one of the cafes at the station, with a real cappuccino and then you are on way to your La Dolce Vita " in Rome "You can choose a low priced pensione " near the station or an expensive luxurious hotel in the vicinity.
Rome is awaiting you with her thousand and one historic attractions. After the glamour of Paris, the glory of Rome is not to be neglected, as Rome, is the oldest city in Europe, with her 3,000 year old history, except new findings proves Istanbul has a 6,000 year old history and is actually older than Rome and not the second oldest city in Europe anymore.
After Rome, you can continue your train journey to Napoli and visit also Capri and Ischia to taste the Italian tourism and even extend your trip to the south and Sicily, to experience a different Italy. Or you can head to north, visiting Florence and from there to central Europe.
Train travelling in Switzerland and Austria:
If you like to travel among picture postcards, train trips in Switzerland and Austria are for you. In these countries, one must travel during the day. Anyway, their distances are so short, no night trips are necessary. Trains are the most luxurious in both Switzerland and Austria and spending time in their gorgeous wagon-restaurants or more precisely said in their Speisewagen is a delightful experience in itself. Food is central European food, wines and beers are excellent, and the service is impeccable.
The trains will take you to your destination amongst mountains and lakes and idyllic villages. You can photograph many shots to share with your friends later on. In Austria, people are more ready to spark a conversation than in Switzerland, where people are more reserved. There are usually newspapers or magazines hanging on the walls of the restaurant cars, if you speak the local languages. Geneve, Lugano, Zurich, Lausanne, Basel are interesting cities, in Switzerland, but winter resorts are not to be forgotten.
In Austria, Vienna and Salzburg are the two big cities of historical and cultural interest, but there are other cities of interest like Graz, Innsbruck and winter resorts like Kitzbuehl, for instance, among many. Do not miss the Vienna Philharmonic concerts if you are in Vienna in the musical season and the many museums of Vienna. From Vienna, you can make a side trip to Budapest, the cradle of the oldest Turks, the Huns, with their emperor Attila. Austrian-Hungarian Empire was one of the most important empires in Europe.
When in Geneva, you can also take a bus trip to Annecy in France, a surprising delight in itself: a village in the middle of a running river which sounds like a waterfall "- a beautiful and unique tourist spot with many gourmet restaurants. Lausanne is a beautiful city as well, where the important Lausanne Treaty was signed after the WW1. Zurich, of course, is the known finance center of Europe where, it is said every sixth man is a millionaire.
Train travelling to and within Germany:
Vienna is well-connected to Germany by train. Trains are punctual, fast, and well-maintained.
Although the ticket prices are not inexpensive (and it will cost more, soon, to travel by train in Germany) there are significantly reduced prices for return trips. The information clerks at the stations will explain you these in detail, by pleasure, in his German accented English. If you have a Eurail pass or an Interrail ticket, you have nothing to worry about, although the prices for these have increased considerably as well, in the past years.
From Vienna, you can take a train to Munich, the capital of Bavaria, which will give you the chance to make a stop-over in Salzburg. Or you can take a direct night train to Hamburg or Berlin both interesting cities in different ways. Berlin is again the capital of Germany- a city full of the memories of the WW2, but also with he plenty of museums. Early Civilisations
Museum is unrivalled in the world and you can see the piece of the Babylonian Tower and phantastic sculptures from the Greeks, Romans and the Babylonians. Do not anticipate seeing this museum fully, in less than a week. It is in the eastern part of Berlin. Of course, Berlin Philharmonic, the famous universities of Berlin, Kurfurstendamm (the glamorous main street) with its rich choice of shops and restaurants await your visit as well.
If you travel to Hamburg, you will see a harbour-city, again with many attractions. Near-by is the Travemunde beach, perhaps the most developed beach and summer resort I have seen in Europe, which attracts the tired urban population of Berlin and Hamburg, in the weekends, for a relief in this wonderfully relaxing resort though it has a short season. Warnemunde, a little further is also a noteworthy beach.
Askin Ozcan is the author of THE SECOND VENICE, WISDOM IN SMILE, STOCKHOLM STORIES, SMALL MIRACLES, LIGHTNING AND A BOUQUET OF ROSES and THE MINI-SUBMARINE and a writer at thesop.org and American Chronicle.
His books are available at 200 internet bookshops and via 25.000 bookstores.
Exciting Train Trips Part 1