Part 1: From Oslo to Venice – an interrailing adventure

Tim Eustace is re-telling his summer interrail adventure from Oslo to Venice. This is the first blog of a four part series.

Covering over 5,000km on trains (by my rough calculations) this summer is going to be spent wisely. Being a teacher, I’ve naturally planned this trip thoroughly, but there’s no accounting for twists and turns along the way and this has already proven to be the case. Currently on the agenda is: Oslo, Malmö, Copenhagen, Berlin, Prague, Bratislava, Budapest, Lake Bled, Ljubljana, Pula and Venice but who knows where we may end up!

Tim’s planned trip. He made a couple of detours along the way, such is the flexibility of the Interrail pass!

Oslo has been a whirlwind already and certainly lived up to its reputation for being one of the most expensive cities in the world. It’s quite a challenge budgeting for 32 days when you start in the priciest city and you have the whole trip’s budget burning a hole in your pocket.

(Not literally – in actual fact, I’m trying to do this as a completely cashless trip. I don’t have a penny of any currency except for an emergency €50 which I fully intend to bring back with me. I’m paying for everything via Monzo and it is superb.)

From the plane, I knew I would love Oslo. It is greener and more beautiful than you can imagine. It’s calm, clean and so relaxed. A wonderful city and I could have stayed far longer. The Oslo pass is well worth the money, if for nothing else than the breathtaking boat trip across the fjords. I am sad to leave, but Sweden beckons…

For about 4 months now I have been obsessing over how to solve what I have labelled as the ‘Budapest problem’. Budapest is over halfway through our journey and, crucially, comes before what I’ve considered to be the peaceful end of the adventure. Croatia is all about relaxing; however, the city breaks are fast paced, and a time for exploring. Where to go in Croatia after Budapest was a problem as, because we are flying back from Venice, Split and southern territories were long train rides – definitely not a one day job and, this far in, that’s what we wanted.

Anyway, I got so distracted by this issue that during my planning I completely missed the headache that is Oslo-Malmö. I’d checked this once early on and it seemed at the top end of reasonable journey (just over 7h) so I gave it no further thought. When it came to making a reservation, the journey was not as I’d thought – something had changed. What do you do in a situation like this? Well, be thankful for your flexi pass! No matter, we reserved a train to Stockholm, drank in 2 and a half hours there and then headed over to Malmö.

The total journey time was the same as heading down the west coast with a number of stops, but this way we managed to sneak in an extra capital city. The flexibility is, after all, what interrailing is all about. Our adventure continues.

Next stop: Malmö…

You can see Tim’s fully planned trip and take inspiration for your own trip here.