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Category Archives: European Travel

And finally to Brussels we go…

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The last stop on our InterRail journey is finally here – the capital of Belgium, Brussels!

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Arriving in Amsterdam!

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After a fantastic time in Berlin, it was on to Amsterdam for Team Giggity! The train from Berlin to Amsterdam is extremely easy – simply alight in the morning and you will be in Amsterdam by early afternoon! The trains are run by the German national network, Deutsche Bahn (DB), and with the famed German efficiency there were absolutely no delays, whatsoever. It was a great journey travelling across the German countryside and through Holland to our destination.

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Berlin beckons

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And so on to the next stop on our InterRail adventure…Berlin!
If Prague is a city where you visit simply to see the historical culture, Berlin is the modern-day ‘cool city’.

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Pastries in Prague!

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A short distance travelling from Budapest (well six hours is peanuts in comparison to the Zagreb to Budapest journey!) and we had arrived at Praha Hlavni Nadrazi, a wonderfully modern station that is cleverly split over several levels. After dropping our bags off at the hostel and a much needed hot meal we set out our ‘site-seeing’ plans for the next few days.

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Budapest Beckons

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Being British, we’ve come to accept train delays as inevitable in one way or another, in particular on long journeys. The Zagreb to Budapest train was certainly one-of-a-kind the train crawled through the Croatian and Hungarian countryside on a baking hot afternoon. At one point near the border the train stopped and we were all told we’d be waiting at the station an hour, which wasn’t ideal but we all gathered we could use the fresh air and a cold drink. To our dismay though, our train started pulling away with the vast majority of our luggage on-board as we were queueing, only to reappear 20 minutes later with more carriages attached at one end! By the time we reached Budapest (significantly later than planned) our train had at least three times the number of carriages than it started with!

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Croatia Calls….

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We spent an afternoon walking in the sun at Ancona prior to our ferry across the Adriatic Sea that evening, sampling the last morsels of Italian Gelato(!), as well as the breath-taking Passetto Monument and cathedral in the town. By the time our ferry was about to depart though, the glorious sunshine from the afternoon had turned to dense, dark and very damp clouds as a thunderstorm brewed out at sea. Witnessing the lightning storm on the open sea was simultaneously terrifying and spectacular and needless to say not much sleep was had that night!

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Crossing the Italian border to Milan and Rome

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Early starts are never enjoyable, but the mountain views travelling through the Swiss/Italian border were a truly remarkable sight to behold (even through sleepy eyes on the 07.42 from Geneva to Milan).

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Our Travel Gurus reach Geneva

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It only took until Day 2 of our adventure to be reminded of home, in the form of a rail replacement bus service from Bellegarde to Geneva (well it was a Sunday afternoon after all!) The stunning scenic views traversing through the mountains between the French/Swiss border far outweighed any inconvenience in the extension to our journey time!

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Our Travel Gurus board the train to Paris to begin their European adventure

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Following several months of planning, packing and last minute panicking (tip: don’t leave packing until the last moment like we did), at 8.30am on Saturday 26th July 2014, Team Giggity (Chris and Mark), started a month long adventure that we are never going to forget!

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Follow our Travel Guru winners on their tour of Europe

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Last year redspottedhanky.com launched Travel Guru to find people who are just as excited as we are about exploring new places, experiencing different cultures and customs, and travelling to foreign countries.

Many of you submitted your 30 second travel videos to show just how much you love travel, and from those entries we picked four pairs of finalists to go head-to-head in a series of challenges – some of them unusual, some ingenious, most of them silly.

Team Giggity, comprising of Mark Dumpleton and Chris Hayward, were the biggest hit with online voters, and were crowned redspottedhanky.com Travel Gurus.

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