Germany- Denmark- Austria


Febraury 98,  15 days


Kind of travel: me in an independent travel (with a travelmate for the first 3 days)

When: 20 Febr.- 6 Mar., 1998

How I moved: by train, hitch hiking, boat and rollerblading

Baking or freezing?: wind, especially along the coasts, and cold but not too much (-2 +10). Some snow in Berlin.

Where I slept: on the train, at the station, on the boat and hostels

What I liked: I fell in love of Bornholm with his quite winter haze, as everything was in lethargy waiting for the spring. Besides rollerblading in the snowing Berlin was suggestive

What I disliked: German and Denmark are expensive, expensive and still expensive. In addition Germans in general, train inspectors in particular, could be nicer.

What you do need: you must feel at ease plunged in the winter atmosphere: haze and silence


I need a break from the study-life.
“I wanna travel. I wanna travel by train and there’s the whole Europe that is waiting for us, so let’s leave!” I propose to a friend of mine.
We bought an inter-rail ticket for one zone that let us to travel by train throughout Germany, Denmark and Austria. It was wintertime and the north of Europe gets charming in the cold season, and so it turned out.
After passing by Hamburg we headed to the Sylt Island. It was so windy we had to give up rollerblading to reach the lighthouse in the northern tip. From here we took a ferry to Denmark, where we arrived in the late evening looking for a cheap accommodation in Esbjerg. No way to find it, so a dark cold station became our shelter and my travel mate got sick to such extent to decide to turn back home (read the story!!), while I proceed.
I reached the northern tip of Denmark, Skagen and then the beautiful Danish capital from where I took a boat to the pearl of the Baltic: Bornholm. I fell in love with this island where, as I was told, God put a fistful of earth from everywhere: in fact you can find sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, hills, green flat lands, woods…
After an unsuccessful attempt to win the wind rollerblading, I successfully hitch hiked around having great fun!!! :-) For sure I was the only one foreigner in the island in such season!!
A boat took me again in Kopenhagen and then I reached the German capital where I spent few days.
In such years (98) the view in Berlin was just cranes and excavators, but at least I could heat up for hours staying and observing the hippos inside their tropical pavilion.
On the way to Munich I stopped in Nurnberg, from where I reached the Fussen valley in the Alps to visit the famous fairytale like castle of Neuschwanstein. The following leg was Salzburg and finally Vienna, where I spent two days hanging around before heading back home.




It was an old friend of mine the travel mate with whom I left from Milan to cope the coldness of the wintertime in the northern Europe. We brought the enthusiasm and our rollerblade underrating the strength of the wind by the Northern Sea.
The first day we reached Hamburg and the next morning we were already on the train to Westerland, the main town on the long narrow Sylt Island. Although not being too cold, it was very windy and it hadn’t been a good idea to try to rollerblad to the lighthouse at the northernmost tip of the island. In fact after few hundreds metres we gave up and we proceed walking, but even then, we agreed the harbour was a good shelter and we stayed there waiting for the ferry to Denmark.
It was getting late and, when we reached the Danish mainland in Esbjerg, we found out the youth hostel closed. It seemed hopeless to get a cheap accommodation in such small town in the darkness, hence we decided to take a train to stay on as much as possible. It didn’t last too much, in fact at 1.00 am we got to the end of the ride and they dropped us off. We found out alone in a tidy small station somewhere in Denmark where there were anymore train till  the following morning. We sat thinking about what we could do when the light automatically turned off and the room fell in a silent darkness. Outside it was so windy we could see the road sign swing. We agreed it was not the case of wandering around looking for an accommodation. We settled down our sleeping bags and we tried to sleep. It wasn’t very cold inside the station, but it had been a long tiring day and both of us were dreaming a bed.
Since the beginning my friend seemed quite fucked up and by the time passing the fever was getting worse.
At 5.00 am he decided to go back to Italy.
I was a kind of perplexed being two people somewhere in Denmark the third day of travel with my travel mate going back home.
What to do??
Obviously I insisted we would have waited few days in a hostel for him to get better, but he stood the ground on his decision.
At the end he took the train southwards and I proceed alone for 15 days. I’m now still sorry for him to have missed almost the whole travel, but I found out travelling by myself so interesting that this one became the first of a long series of independent solo travels.