A ten-day Practice Journey Via Europe

Numerous us have traveled by prepare sometimes. However have you ever ever carried out a extremely lengthy prepare trip? Trains in Europe are good to rapidly discover the attractive cities. They’re quick, snug and most significantly: A really sustainable manner of journey which is now extra vital than ever. Dwelling in Amsterdam, the Netherlands I’ve carried out my justifiable share of touring by prepare in Europe. However I’ve by no means crossed many international locations mixed in a single prepare trip.

That just lately modified as I used to be invited to hitch the Connecting Europe Specific . This prepare is an initiative by the European Fee to advertise prepare journey. As a result of (do you know?) 2021 is the European Yr of Rail . So principally, the Connecting Europe Specific is a press prepare. It’s a one time prepare that crosses Europe inside 36 days and covers 20.000km! It began in Lisbon and ultimately ends in Paris. I ‘solely’ stayed on the prepare for 9 days however I used to be capable of expertise the beginning in Lisbon and went all the way in which to Bratislava. Although the prepare had a sleeping coach we stayed at completely different inns in each metropolis throughout the evening, all positioned at a strolling distance from the station we arrived.

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Route that I traveled on the Connecting Europe Specific. Cities I stayed alongside the way in which:

Lisbon – Madrid – Bordeaux – Turin – Milan – Rome – Bolzano – St. Polten – Bratislava

For the total route, test the web site

I obtained a number of questions from individuals who had been fascinated by reserving this specific prepare however sadly that’s not doable, for now at the very least! However crossing by Europe by prepare shouldn’t be that arduous and there are various ‘rail planners’ on-line that present you the connecting cities, railway traces and timetables that makes it a breeze to plan a metropolis journey by Europe by prepare. However on this article, I wish to inform you about my very own journey and present you a number of pictures from alongside the way in which.

10 cities, 9 days

Like I discussed earlier than I began in Lisbon Portugal. I really like Lisbon. It has stunning structure, each outdated and trendy. I used to be actually intrigued by the trams that ran by the town. They actually match the structure effectively. I had one early morning earlier than the Connecting Europe Specific departed to {photograph} these trams with with first daylight. Throughout the day it was not possible because it was very crowded with automobiles and other people, however within the morning it was stunning.

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The Lisbon trams within the golden morning mild

After the early morning we made our solution to the attractive Estação do Oriente station from the place the Connecting Europe Specific began its departure. I ought to point out there was a number of press on each station because it was actually an occasion that united international locations from the EU to work collectively to advertise European rail.

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The spectacular Estação do Oriente station

What adopted was an intensive however tremendous thrilling journey the place I attempted to {photograph} a glimpse of each metropolis.

We first handed by Portugal, stayed the evening in Covilha and made our manner into Spain, the place we stayed the evening in Madrid. I had the afternoon to stroll round and revel in Madrid and explored the streets and delightful structure and buildings of the town.

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Madrid has some very nice vibrant streets.

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Palacio de Cibeles

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Puerta de Alcala

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Little temple in Parque de El Retiro.

After Madrid we went straight to Bordeaux, France. I’ve to say that I used to be pleasantly stunned by the town of Bordeaux. It was full of gorgeous streets and spectacular buildings like historic gates and church buildings. And it was simply very vigorous on the streets within the night with a number of terraces on the streets, good wine and good meals.

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I did every thing on foot in Bordeaux. The whole lot was shut to one another and near the resort and the prepare station. Plus I actually like to simply stroll round within the streets and see if there may be something fascinating to {photograph}. I at all times made certain to organize and I form of knew the place I needed to go. I checked the ‘sizzling spots’ of the town by Google and I did this within the prepare on my laptop computer. More often than not the prepare had a superb wifi connection so it was very nice to work whereas wanting on the good sceneries out of the window. So like I discussed: I might merely test the ‘sizzling spots’ by google, make a little bit map for myself to stroll, and in between I might see if there was something fascinating to {photograph}. And if the spots had been too removed from one another I might use the electrical scooters that they principally had in each metropolis! Very handy to get round quick.

As I might typically sit for a lot of hours within the journey I additionally began to take pictures from the prepare itself. Not solely the window views however I discovered it additionally very fascinating to {photograph} ‘summary’ photographs with barely longer exposures from the window of the prepare. By transferring the digital camera and the transferring prepare, I might get very summary patterns which nearly appear like work. I met a woman named Jennifer (@landscapeinmotion) on the prepare who was ‘specialised’ in that, you may see her work from the journey on her Instagram. Listed below are a few of my abstracts from out of the window.

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The road within the center is definitely the rail monitor subsequent to the prepare. The picture is 90 levels flipped.

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By utilizing slower shutter speeds and capturing whereas tilting the digital camera I might create a wave impact.

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Photographing completely different landscapes with completely different colors had countless prospects.

After Bordeaux we had a protracted prepare trip of virtually 16 hours (small stops included) all the way in which to Turin in Italy. Turin was one other metropolis that was very nice to stroll round in. It immediately reminded why Italy is one among my favourite international locations in Europe. I simply love the structure and the relaxed ambiance. I walked round a bit within the morning and loved spending time discovering fascinating angles and particulars within the metropolis together with the well-known buildings.

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Little courtyard I discovered after coming into a little bit road from a important procuring road. Typical yellow homes coated by inexperienced vegetation was a reasonably sight.

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Turin’s important sq..

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The Galleria San Federico is a tremendous little gallery with fairly vegetation and structure mixed.

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One other little courtyard I discovered whereas exploring. And with an excessive broad angle lens wanting up, this courtyard seemed very fascinating and summary.

Just a few days into my journey and I already found that although I packed mild, I used to be nonetheless carrying an excessive amount of. Because it was summer time it was fairly heat each day with a minimal of 25 levels. My winter coat and additional vest I introduced had been ineffective throughout the first days and I loved the good climate each day carrying shorts and a t-shirt.

The Connecting Europe Specific was represented by Italy very effectively as we had 3 in a single day stays in several cities in Italy. The primary one being Turin, subsequent up was Milan. And let’s be sincere: Milan shouldn’t be essentially the most photogenic metropolis of Italy with rivals like Rome and Venice. However Milan has some spectacular trendy structure, and naturally the wonderful Duomo!

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Fashionable structure across the enterprise district of Milan.

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Duomo di Milano and the well-known Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II on the left.

Within the morning I made a decision to get up actually early to be at Duomo 1 hour earlier than dawn. Dawn was a bit earlier than 7 AM so I used to be there round 6. Whenever you wish to {photograph} important sights in widespread cities with none individuals, you must sacrifice your sleep for it. I used to be greeted by a phenomenal morning with good colors within the sky.

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Utterly empty Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II at 6:30 within the morning.


Throughout the days I might typically spend many hours on the prepare and whereas I used to be working and sometimes speaking to a number of fascinating individuals I additionally obtained to benefit from the window views of so many various international locations in such a short while. Listed below are some impressions:

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You might be curious how I shot these. I had my wide-angle lens on a tripod pointing on the window subsequent to me, utilizing a shutter velocity of round 1/1000s. The shutter velocity needed to be very quick because the prepare was typically touring fairly quick as effectively. Then an important factor was merely timing. I needed to press the shutter button precisely on the proper time to get a constructing or mountain in the midst of the window for instance.


After Madrid the Connecting Europe Specific introduced me to Rome. I arrived later afternoon, about 45 minutes earlier than sundown. My resort was proper subsequent to the prepare station so I rapidly checked in, grabbed an electrical shooter and made my solution to the Vatican the place I used to be simply in time to catch the final sundown mild! The beauty of trains and prepare stations is that they typically arrive proper in the midst of a metropolis. That’s principally completely different with airports. Arriving proper in the midst of Rome with the resort subsequent to the station allowed me to behave tremendous fast and be in time for my sundown shoot.

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The well-known Vatican. It was a phenomenal ambiance that night good colors within the sky, rowers within the river and the sound of birds.

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The following morning I made a decision to get up early for dawn but once more. Like I discussed earlier: If you wish to {photograph} spectacular cities with empty streets, it is advisable to sacrifice your sleep! I made a decision to go to the Colosseum earlier than the solar got here up.

After that I actually loved wandering round within the empty streets of Rome. As a result of in addition to the numerous stunning buildings and sizzling spots, it additionally actually has photogenic streets particularly mixed with the gentle morning mild.

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One among my favourite pictures from Rome because it’s one thing one thing you don’t see very day. The primary ‘life’ on the streets throughout an early morning when individuals stroll to work within the golden mild of the solar.

After Rome it was time to say Goodbye to Italy. After 3 days of pizza it was time to maneuver up north once more. We stayed the evening at Bolzano, however a late arrival and early departure didn’t actually give the chance to discover and take pictures. The following day we went into Austria the place had been first had a 2 hour cease. I made a decision to hop off the prepare and do a fast metropolis tour on the electrical scooters that had been proper on the station. After having seen all the attractive outdated structure in Italy I made a decision to combine issues up a bit in Vienna and to take a look at some extra trendy structure.

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Our last cease for the day was the town of Sankt Pölten, the capital of the decrease a part of Austria. I actually loved strolling round there. With a small metropolis heart and delightful buildings it was very good to right away see the change of structure between international locations. And about ‘switching’, it was additionally very fascinating to search out the language limitations whereas touring within the prepare. Daily new individuals would get out and in, and I might hear completely different languages. Its very fascinating to see and listen to some invisible limitations the prepare merely crosses, however which have a huge impact on principally every thing besides the within of the prepare.

I grabbed a pleasant Austrian schnitzel and explored the small metropolis heart which was once more proper on the resort and the central station. The buildings had been all very maintained and easily seemed stunning.

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After which it was already time for my last cease on the Connecting Europe Specific: Bratislava (Slovakia). That went quick proper? 10 cities in 9 days!

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I actually loved strolling the streets of Bratislava. I didn’t actually know what to anticipate as I haven’t been a lot to this a part of Europe, however I used to be once more impressed by the attractive structure of the town. The church buildings and particularly the fort on high of a hill that you might principally see from a number of completely different angles within the cities.

I met up with Pedro Kin, a buddy from Portugal that lives in Bratislava along with his spouse. He confirmed me round a bit and handled me with the everyday Slovakian Goulash as a dinner. It was so good to see how concerned a number of individuals and mates had been with me on this journey. I sometimes met mates I did not see for some time as they contacted me by social media when i used to be of their metropolis, although it was just for a short while. I met my good buddy Francesco Gola in Milan, Marco de Maio in Rome, and a form native photographer named Jesus in Madrid. He contacted me on Instagram and was very useful with some spots so we did some photographing collectively. It’s so good that the prepare mixed with social media can join us in such a quick and simple manner.

In Bratislava I hopped off the prepare and it continued with out me. You may see the entire route at www.connectingeuropeexpress.eu .

Moreover the summary and window pictures, I additionally took a bunch of photographs alongside the way in which of the trains and prepare stations:

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The attractive small prepare station Vilar Formoso in Portugal, the final station earlier than we entered Spain.

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Practice arriving within the station late night. I took a protracted publicity with the station lights on the perimeters.

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The Connecting Europe Specific altering locomotives in Brenner Austria

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Early departure from Bolzano Italy

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A brief cease at Genoa Italy

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Brief cease close to the Italian Alps. Enjoyable reality: this was the one time I noticed some rain throughout my complete journey.

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Arrival at Rome Central Station. Photograph is a zooming slighter lengthy publicity and a brief publicity mixed.

Afternoon mild hitting the tops of the bushes in Austria

So what did I convey on my journey? As we had been altering places quite a bit I made a decision to journey actually mild. I solely introduced my digital camera (Sony A7RIV) and a couple of lenses: The 12-24 GM broad angle lens (good for cities and within the prepare itself) and the mid-range zoom (24-105mm G). I didn’t really feel the necessity to convey extra issues. Subsequent to my little digital camera equipment which additionally included some day by day snacks and my laptop computer, I introduced a small suitcase that contained my garments and toiletries for the week. And that was principally sufficient.

Some enjoyable information about my journey with the Connecting Europe Specific:

  • 51 hours within the prepare spent

  • Round 4300 km traveled by prepare (whole route of the entire Connecting Europe Specific covers 20.000km)

  • stayed in 10 completely different cities in 6 completely different international locations over a interval of 9 days

  • Noticed 6 sunrises in whole. 2 within the cities (Rome and Milan), 4 in (or earlier than departure of) the prepare.

  • Most stunning half on the rail was Austria with spectacular mountain views and delightful inexperienced hills.

  • Slept in 10 completely different inns, all strolling distance from the railway station.

  • Traveled with simply 1 prepare.

To shut of this text I’d like to say that EU Residents of 18 years outdated can apply for a free journey (principally rail) move to journey Europe. That is an initiative from the #DiscoverEU.

If you wish to test far more of my content material, be sure you test the ConnectingEurope Spotlight on my Instagram profile with many extra movies and impressions from this journey!

For extra info, please test the official ConnectingEurope Specific web site and the Yr of Rail 2021 web site

Hope you loved the story and pictures!


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