As someone who grew up in the UK, travelling to Europe seemed sort of far away – even if it wasn’t really. I grew up in Bedford which is about an hour north of London by train and so to get to Dover or a similar port to travel to Europe, it would be about a 2.5 hour car trip before you even get into the mainland of Europe. Since moving to Denmark, the opportunities to explore more have opened up. We’ve taken the short ferry from Helsingør to Helsingborg for a short weekend and taken a weekend cruise from Copenhagen to Oslo. Train travel here in mainland Europe is definitely more wallet friendly than the UK and with something like the InterRail pass it definitely opens more doors too. So join us for 8 days taking an exciting adventure across Europe. 8 days, 5 cities and a few more countries!
Day One: Copenhagen to Berlin
Day One was Sunday and so to begin with it was pretty much a normal Sunday for us. We started our day with going to church as Chris was speaking at the service. Rex decided that Daddy was “Flavour of the Day” so as much as I tried to keep him quiet all he wanted was to stand with Daddy. How Chris managed to keep speaking and not get completely distracted I have no idea!
Once church was finished it was time to head to København H Station to get our train and to start our adventure across Europe. Our first stop would be Berlin (with a couple of connections along the way). Before leaving, we grabbed lunch in the station so that we were all starting on a good note.
Our first train would be leaving Copenhagen and going via Fredricia. When we got there, we then had to change for another train to Rendsburg. This train would take us across the border into Germany.
I started by trying to keep notes around which stations we’d been through and then other details like how long the trip was and how far we’d traveled. Day One alone was over 750km (466 miles) that we covered. (If you’re a nerd and you like the stats you can find them down at the bottom of each day’s post).
After leaving Rendsburg station, we could see this bridge but it seemed like we were at complete the wrong angle for our train to actual make it up onto the bridge.
How wrong were we?
The Rendsburg Loop (German: Rendsburger Schleife) is an elevated spiral railway in Rendsburg in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, connecting the Rendsburg High Bridge over the Kiel Canal on the Neumünster–Flensburg line to Rendsburg station. The first bridge built over the original Kiel Canal in the 1890s was a swing bridge. In 1913, with the widening of the canal, this was replaced by the Rendsburg High Bridge with a clearance height of 42 meters (138 ft).
This met the requirements for bridges across the canal. At the same time, however, it was desirable for trains to be able to use the existing Rendsburg station. This was difficult because the station was too close to the canal to be connected directly from a bridge over the canal at the minimum height for the bridge. Therefore, at the northern end of the bridge, an elevated railway was built in the form of a loop. Trains from the south to Rendsburg need to make a 360-degree turn before entering the station. Similarly, trains coming from the north after leaving Rendsburg station run over the loop on to the High Bridge to cross the Kiel Canal.Source: www.wikipedia.org
Once we crossed the Rendsburg High Bridge, we were then on our way to Hamburg. It was around another 100km from Rendsburg to Hamburg. When we arrived at Hamburg, it turned out that our train arrived at Hamburg Altona station. We needed to leave from Hamburg Hauptbahnhof – so time to tick off our first “other” form of transport. This was the Hamburg S-Bahn.
Google Maps only got us so far and while we were on the right platform, we didn’t have a ticket and we weren’t 100% sure it was going the right way. So while Chris went to get a ticket (that later we’d find out we didn’t need!) Rex, Jaxon and I waited on the platform.
I looked at the map and worked out that we needed the S3 line towards Neugraben. Once we were on the S-Bahn train I wasn’t still not entirely sure we were going to the right way but when we arrived at Hamburg Hauptbahnhof and we were able to get out next train it was definitely a win!
We finally arrived in Berlin around midnight and were definitely ready for our beds! We were staying at A&O Berlin Hauptbahnhof which is a short walk away from the train station and really easy to find. It was a little challenging getting to sleep as there was a lot of noise outside but once I got Rex from the buggy into the bed he was completely gone and was fast asleep!
One day of our adventure across Europe – done!
You can find out more about the Interrail pass here.