The trains in Europe may be famous for being a blessing or a convenience, but there’s so much more to these adorable trains. Something about them is liberating, adorable and wonderful. These little boxes signify possibility. Just traveling around in them is such a liberating experience (unless your seat is next to the washroom. In which case, you’re only privy to a lot of liberating!)
These trains are magical, and here’s documenting some of my best experience recently:
#1 The European countryside: The train ride from Munich to Salzburg boasts of the most beautiful view of the European countrysides. The train ride is approximately 2 hours, and we took a 9:00 am train. With the sun shining mildly over the lush green grass, the endless meadows and the clear blue sky- I finally understood why the journey is sometimes better than the destination.
#2 From the planned to the unplanned: I never imagined a train breaking down would turn out to be this much fun. On the way to Prague, the train broke down for slightly over an hour. We stopped in the middle of the countryside, and most of us got off the train. With a can of beer in one hand and a camera in the other, we walked around the track, sat by the steps of the train just enjoying the cool wind, the chilled beer and the countryside! When the train finally started moving, we passed by one of the most unnoticed and serene lakes I’ve seen, wishing our train had chosen to breakdown there instead. We did end up missing some precious hours in Prague, but the fun in travel always comes from the unplanned than the planned!
#3 Traveling for the conversations: Some say the best part about traveling is the people one gets to meet- and who am I to disagree? Some of the most interesting conversations I’ve had while traveling have been during train journeys in Europe. On a train ride in Germany, I met a police officer from a village on the outskirts, who traveled all the way to Munich just to help the force managing the Oktoberfest drunks (Read: 10 Things To Expect at Oktoberfest). We ended up chatting about how he ended up joining the police, how he made it to the city from a little town called Tegernsee, all the way to Munich every week for work.
Another interesting though somewhat infuriating conversation I had was with a slightly older lady on my to Prague. Naturally, the first thing that came up were the snake charmers and it took me a while to establish that my country has little to do with snake charmers any more. We spoke about the existing refugee situation in Europe during that time, and was presented a different perspective- the security concerns faced by the locals.
It was heartening to realize that no matter how different the cultures around the world may be, we all share so much in common. Of course, I believe she learnt more than I did- for she was surprised to find that a girl from India could speak fluent English, was willing to backpack across Europe and had an opinion on the world. As for me, I was surprised to find that few people in Europe had a clue about what’s going on in my country!