My plan A for our summer holidays would be taking us by train from Karlsruhe to Baku using the Interrail Ticket. Early in the planning stage it turned out that the inauguration of the passenger service between Kars and Baku would not materialize this year. Having sensed that I switched to plan B that would take us to the twin European cultural capitals of Matera and Plovidiv. Combining that with a visit to the ancient ruins of Butrint and Paestum plus a long dreamed return to Palermo and a reconnaisance of Split would turn our tour into a logistic masterpiece. In the end we managed to squeeze all this into a 23 day Interrail tour that blast our senses. As it turned out we were on the heels of the ancient Romans. As usually we took night trains and even had to resort to an old school overnight in a clapped out train compartment on the overnight from Zagreb to Beograd. My personal highlight was the ride from Beograd to Sofia on a train rolling at a leisurely pace through the endless Serbian maize fields and carrying Interrailers, Eurailers and rail enthusiasts alike. A forced break at Kulata on the trip from Sofia to Thessaloniki turned into a wonderful dinner with first time Polish and Finnish Interrailers that had received their tickets through the EU lottery and Patrick from Ireland who provided a bottle of Serbian brandy on the occasion.
Itinerary: Karlsruhe, München, Innsbruck, Verona, Ancona, Split, Karlovac, Zagreb, Beograd, Plovdiv, Thessaloniki, Ioannina, Gjirokaster, Ksamil, Igoumenitsa, Brindisi, Matera, Palermo, Caserta, Paestum, Pavia, Milano, Brig, Bern, Basel, Karlsruhe.
- 23 day rail journey through 8 European countries
- ?? covered rail kilometers