Destinations Europe

Travel now and then – Memories of Interrail 2005

August 12, 2015

Wow, is it 10 years already? Exactly 10 years ago I was on my first self-organised trip and I’m taking this occasion to ramble on how the way of travelling has changed. So in 2005 I finished my first year of studying and I was ready to conquer the world during the summer break. Interrail and backpacking was THE thing at that young age (I guess it still is) and the idea of taking any train to any destination perfectly conforms to the idea of freedom. The same year Google Maps launched, but it was just a funny toy for me at first. I didn’t know any of the sites like TripAdvisor,, Kayak or all the other travel search engines (although some of them existed already). However the first iPhone came out two years later, Wifi was by far not as common – so there was no way to be online on the road. Me and my former bf got our Interrail passes at the railway station and we decided on a 3-weeks limited pass for Italy and Greece. There was no checking any reviews or bookings in advance. We learned how to read train schedules and wrote down the times. We had two thick guidebooks and paper maps we got at the tourist information. I had a mobile phone but roaming either didn’t work or was expensive, so I got phone cards. The most modern gear we had was our digital camera, which had about powerful 3 megapixels, but look – the photos ain’t so bad!

Train journeys may have a romantic image but let’s face the truth: It was high season and the trains in Italy were packed whereas the train network in Greece was actually non-existent. Second class cars weren’t air-conditioned sometimes. Sleepers at overnight trains – not for Interrail travelers. The lavatories – yuck. The most fun part of the journey was probably the ferry ride between Italy and Greece which was included in the ticket. Sleeping on deck, watching the stars and waking up with the sunrise over the open ocean were the most memorable experiences I made during that trip. I also enjoyed the amenities on board and watching the busy activities at the harbours.

So what are the differences? Travelling has been more exhausting for sure. Very often we stranded at the railway station, loaded with heavy luggage but without a clue where to go first. Finding accommodation was a gamble, especially when you were on a budget. Sometimes the tourist information got us something, but mostly we trusted one of the touts who was waiting at the stations. (Is it still like that?) And that’s the point which brings me the upsides: You were forced to talk to people in pretty every situation (but without Google Translate). No Google Maps told me which way to go, no TripAdvisor recommended me a place to stay, no website showed me what time the next train is. And probably the biggest difference: No social media where you feel the urge to share the best beach photo, what you had for dinner and whatsoever. There was less control and you had to be open for surprises. Failing was part of the experience. Isn’t that real freedom? And although I kind of miss those old days, I think I got so used to the convenience of modern technology that I hardly could do without it. I want to know where I’m going to spend the night when I arrive. I want to get tickets online to skip the queue. I want to share my photos on Instagram and this blog to be recognised. There are dozens of other examples…

What’s your opinion?



Next: Bologna, Italy



Florence, Italy FlorenceI can’t remember the last time when I used a phone booth actually 😛

Calling home from a phone booth!San Benedetto del Tronto

San Benedetto del TrontoBari

Boarding the ferry to GreeceSunset in Bari, ItalySleeping on deck wasn’t the most comfortable experience but the sunrise paid off for it.

Sleeping on deckI don't look very rested though :PSunrisePeloponnese

Meuseum of Olympia, Greece Olympia Ruins of OlympiaBeach of SacharoGood, greek foodDinner with new friendsThe ruin and cave of Voidokilia Voidokilia Bay VoidokiliaMethoni Castle, Greece Methoni CastleOn the ferry back to Italy

Leaving the port of Patras, GreeceArriving in Ancona, ItalyDid you enjoy this post? If yes, I’d be very happy about a “like” on my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter, Google+, Bloglovin or Instagram! THANK YOU ❤️‍ 🙂

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No Comments

  • Reply greg_travels August 13, 2015 at 5:50 am

    I agree. Travel has really changed over time. I too like to travel certain parts of my travel now that it has become so convenient.
    Lovely pics as well !

    • Reply sileas August 17, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      Thank you! I think technology opens a lot of possibilites and new aspects in travelling!

  • Reply Paleica August 13, 2015 at 9:06 am

    superschöne eindrücke. aber ich kann mir schon vorstellen, dass das weeesentlich anstrengender war als heute. für mich wär das ja gar nix. ich liebe einfach die möglichkeiten, die moderne technologie beim reisen bietet. aber ich bin auch nicht mit besonders viel abenteuergeist ausgestattet 😉

    • Reply sileas August 17, 2015 at 12:13 pm

      Das würde ich so nicht unterschreiben 😉 Dafür bist du auch ganz schön viel unterwegs 😉

      • Reply Paleica August 17, 2015 at 1:05 pm

        ich geb mir mühe ein bisschen was aufzuholen 🙂 aber ich bin halt eher flash- bis poshbacker, um es auf neudeutsch zu sagen 😉

  • Reply Nathalie von Nat Worldwild August 13, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Ich habe in Kuba 2012 mal ansatzweise eine solche Erfahrungen gemacht. Es gab über zweieinhalb Wochen kein Internet und kein Handy. Und tatsächlich…ich fand es damals eine tolle Sache! Einfach mal alles zuhause lassen können und frei sein vom Alltag (der einen auf Facebook und Co. ja doch irgendwie immer verfolgt). Zugegebenermaßen hab ich mich zuhause auch wieder auf Laptop und Co. gefreut. Aber für eine gewisse Zeit tat es mal gut, einfach nicht 24/7 erreichbar zu sein.
    Von Ort zu Ort gereist bin ich in Kuba übrigens mit Bussen, die doch recht komfortabel waren. Züge…das ist wohl nochmal was anderes. Muss nicht sein für mich. 😉

    • Reply sileas August 17, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      Haha bei mir ist es umgekehrt, ich ziehe eher Züge den Bussen vor! Aber du hast recht, so eine kleine Auszeit von allem kann richtig befreiend sein. Und so schätzt man die moderne Technik gleich mehr 😉

  • Reply ChloéMarriault August 19, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Such an amazing place

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