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Your favourite travel memories: The winners

We asked you for your favourite travel memories, and you delivered. So get ready for a double dose of nostalgia and wanderlust because the results are in! You can find all of the winning photos and stories below...

 

IR Winner Yasmin

Winner: Yasmin Dijksterhuis - The Netherlands

Winner of 2 Interrail Global Passes

 

In the summer of the year that I turned 18, my mum and I decided to do something totally adventurous and new: interrailing to Switzerland together. During this 7 day Switzerland trip we discovered new places, eaten new local delicacies and gained new experiences together. This trip gave us both the opportunity to do challenging activities that we never have done before; In Interlaken, I lied on a grass field watching my mum paragliding– She had the time of her life. I swam in a lake with clear blue water high up in the mountains. It was so beautiful, I will never forget that view. With the melodic jingling bell sound of the grazing alpine cows in the background, we also hiked in the Swiss Alps for hours that week. 

 

During those hikes, we were accompanied by clear, fresh air and an amazing view. Looking back to this Interrail trip, the only word that can describe this train trip is “wow”. Wow, not only because of what we saw but also the many unforgettable memories my mum and I created together. The long talks my mum and I had during our journey were memorable. This trip gave us the chance to have the good, long mum & daughter talk we used to have again. This picture I attached is taken by my mum while I was trying to figure out how we could descend mount Corviglia and return to the city of Sankt Moritz where we were staying that day. As two amateurs walking in the Alps for the first time, this descending journey wasn’t easy. But eventually, we made it and that is why my mum and I like this picture so much. Because of this journey, I was able to share some memorable stories with family, friends and you! So thank you Interrail!

 

IR Winner Zaza

Winner: Zaza Terpstra - Belgium

Winner of the Interrail passport holder

 

In the beginning of 2020, I was doing my first solo trip. Travelling alone through Europe as an 18 year old girl was as amazing as it was terrifying. Being alone, having to organize everything myself, not always knowing where I would go next, … Everything was new, exciting and breathtaking.

 

It was difficult the first week. Even while I was meeting so many amazing people and really enjoying my freedom, I felt homesick a lot. But after a while it started to get better. Being on the road, being able to just follow my heart and change my plans last minute was incredible.

 

At one point I was on the train from Thessaloniki to Athens. It was a long ride, especially because I forget to make an extra reservation, so I had to change seats a lot. One person saw me dragging my backpack from one seat to another. He approached me because he was impressed by my strength. And so we started talking. He had been travelling in Europe for over a year at that point. He had his own online store, so with simply bringing his laptop, he was able to work from everywhere. We shared many stories and laughs and before we knew, we arrived in Athens.

 

The next day we met up and visited the Acropolis and a few other touristic sites in Athens together. I had so much fun that day and I was so grateful we were on the same train together. It was one of the most spontaneous meetings I had during that trip and I absolutely loved it!

IR Winner Evelina

Winner: Evelina Rimkuse - Sweden

Winner of the Interrail passport holder

 

Last fall I had the wonderful chance of going on an Interrail trip. During my 11 day long trip I ended up taking 37 trains, walking over 230km and visiting 5 countries, so you can imagine I have a lot to tell. But this memory warms my heart a little extra. It was 1st of November 2019. I had taken a risky night train from Milan where I boarded without a seat reserved, hoping it would be possible for me to pay for it on board, and arrived in Salzburg around 7am. The streets were empty and silent while the sky was painted in all tones of red, preparing for the sunrise. All I was craving was a morning swim, so I found a lake 30 minutes away from the station and headed there. Having undressed and being half emerged in the freezing water I was addressed by an older gentleman on a bicycle. He had a genuine smile on his face and spoke way too fast German for me to understand it, so I told him so. To my surprise he switched to near-perfect English immediately and started asking me about my trip, remaining so immersed in the conversation that he seemed not to notice the otherwise slightly freezing situation. He also told me about his job, what to explore in Salzburg, and that the best way to do it is on a bicycle. On top of that he even told me he had 5 bicycles at home and would have loved to lend one to me, if he didn’t have to rush to work. This man is to this day the happiest grandpa I have ever seen, and this unexpected encounter will remain a dear memory of mine for many years to come.

IR Winner Hannah

Winner: Hannah Binder - Austria

Winner of the Interrail passport cover

 

In the summer of 2017, together with a friend from Sweden, I made an Interrail journey through eight different European countries. During this month we tried to see, eat and experience as much as possible. One of our last countries was Ireland. During our whole trip we had always booked our accommodation the day before and were quite shocked to discover that unfortunately none of the hotels in Dublin were in our price range and all hostels were fully booked. After a lot of back and forth, my friend finally persuaded me to try couchsurfing. I was very sceptical at first, but then I agreed as I didn't want to return to England on the same day either. After I had registered there, I immediately received an invitation from a Marco from Venezuela. As it turned out, Marco was exactly our age and moved to Dublin two years ago because of the difficult situation in his country. He welcomed us with open arms and insisted on hearing all about our trip so far. 

 

Since he lived in a flat share himself, he even let us have the bed in the evening and slept on the floor himself. At midnight he woke us up and shyly asked us if we would have a quick glass of wine with him, as he had just turned eighteen. Of course we agreed and now he told us many stories about South America and Venezuela, his culture and family. The next morning, he showed us a South American Food Market and invited us to traditional Venezuelan food. It was the most wonderful two days of our trip! Until today we are still in contact with Marco and remember our adventure with great joy. If we hadn't travelled with only two backpacks, a small budget and two Interrail tickets, we probably would have never met Marco! (the picture was taken at the food market in Dublin)

IR Winner Dimitra Nefeli

Winner: Dimitra Nefeli Sarri - Greece

Winner of the Interrail passport holder

 

My favourite travel memory is when we were travelling across Switzerland. We were in Milan and we were pretty excited about our stops across Switzerland. When we finally got to a place a bit outside Zürich called Winterthur we were thrilled. We chose Winterthur to stay completely randomly and we said why not. Well, Winterthur had some pretty hidden nature gems we were about to explore as we were walking through the city. Small forests,lakes,trees,benches to hang out and enjoy the sounds of the nature,to enjoy the beauty of what’s in front of you. That was Walchewieher. We also hang out by the lake and had a picnic later that day. We met an old couple Barbara and Stan,and after we talked a little,they were pretty excited that we were from Greece and asked us to exchange addresses so we can send them card postal from Athens. So we did,a few months later we send them a letter and they send us back card postal from Winterthur sharing how they did and their news so far. Going to that place was and will be a great memory and I hope I get back someday so I can see more.I’m really grateful we found it and had the chance to explore the other side of the city.

IR Winner Ivan

Winner: Ivan Houdijk - The Netherlands

Winner of the Interrail passport cover

 

My favorite travel memory was back in 2018, when I was travelling 2 month solo through Europe. Halfway my trip I ended up in a small town in Croatia, and it happened to be during the World Cup, where Croatia was exceeding expectations. I was lucky to be able to watch the semi-finals of England-Croatia in the only bar of this small town, with all my fellow travelers of the hostel and the town locals. They won and there was an amazing after party. At my hostel I met three Dutch travelers, who were travelling by car back to The Netherlands. So for a day I switch the train for a road trip to Slovenia. Two of them unfortunately had to continue their trip to The Netherlands two days later. Me and my new friend ended up staying in Slovenia for some extra days. But then it started itching as the finals came closer. We realized we really wanted to see the finals France – Croatia live in Croatia itself. So last minute we booked a bus ride to Zagreb. We almost missed the game as the bus was way overbooked and we were the only ones in Ljubljana that were still allowed to go onto the bus. In Zagreb we ended up meeting - by total coincidence - some of the travelers from the hostel we watched the semi-finals with. The atmosphere of being in Zagreb while Croatia is playing in the finals of the World Cup are indescribable. Unfortunately Croatia lost, but there was still a great atmosphere and the Croatians – and us as well – partied like Croatia won. This is definitely my most favorite travel memory of my 2018 Interrail trip. These are exactly the spontaneous and unexpected moments, that make Interrail travel so amazing and memorable.