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[Chia sẻ] Europe raiway journeys (English)

In late spring 2023, I made my own trip to Europe, a destination that tops the list for many travelers. Not that my story in the old continent would be entirely a beautiful dream. If you are planning for your first trip to Europe and don’t mind the mixed words, we’ll get along.

Perhaps, the most challenging step for my trip was the Schengen visa application. It was indeed. It took time and effort to prepare a bunch of documents to demonstrate my bonds of work in Vietnam and the purpose of my visit. Tips should note are that all bookings can be reserved without pay and free of cancelation, and genuine travelers would not be denied. Additionally, I found convenience in purchasing a Eurail Global Pass through the Klook app, as most of my journeys were by train. I also obtained a 4G SIM card for Europe through this handy application.

Paris was my first destination. With the excitement of being in Europe for the first time, I was profoundly impressed by the France capital art and architecture with its romance spirit, old-fashioned and elaborate style. However, I found the metro system to be crowded and somewhat expensive. During one of my metro rides, I encountered an Arabic gentleman whose words seemed unsettling, causing others to keep their distance. Amidst complex backdrop of Paris, I was warmly greeted by Tu-Huy, an outstanding Vietnamese couple who had recently embarked on a new life in this beautiful city.

From Paris, I boarded a high-speed train to Lyon, where I had the pleasure of reuniting with an old high school friend, Thuy, and his family. Thuy welcomed me with open arms, introducing me to notable landmarks, delightful wines, and the traditional cuisine of Lyons which had weird tastes. Though time had passed, Thuy’s appearance and sense of humor remained unchanged, now accompanied by the roles of a caring father and devoted husband.

As I journeyed through France, I visited two additional cities. From the train window, picturesque and vibrant French villages unfolded before my eyes. In the captivating town of Annecy, I encountered a group of three Vietnamese travelers who joined me in discovering the stunning canals, colorful medieval architecture, and the serene Lake Annecy that reflects the surrounding mountains like a mirror.

Switzerland, the second country on my journey, undoubtedly stands as the most breathtaking place I have ever visited. Its villages, nestled at the foot of the majestic Alps, appear straight out of a storybook. However, it is important to be mindful of your budget while in Switzerland, as the cost of living there can be exorbitant. The highlight of my visit in Switzerland was the hiking in Grindelwald and Engelbert, which revealed enchanted landscapes and where I got to know an interesting Korean guy, who was taking long holiday in Europe.

The warmth and hospitality of the Swiss people left a lasting impression on me. On a damp and cold morning, while attempting to prepare a simple meal of instant noodles in a dorm in Interlaken, a friendly staff approached me and, with limited English, kindly assisted me in boiling water. He greeted me warmly and shared snippets of life in Switzerland. Suddenly, he pointed at the sky, exclaiming, “Look! Amidst the overcast sky, there is a small patch of blue. How remarkable!”

Travelling alone is absolutely not fun and there are moments when we question if it’s worth it. However, solo travel offer us a sense of pure adventure which might lead to unexpected conversations and strange path. During my time in Germany, the final country on my journey, life showed that it is not only pink color. I got a foot ache, and I had to skip my trek in the Black Forest and instead visited the forest on a scenic train.

The Germans, who notoriously known for their straight-forward character, had warm hearts. There was a train in Offenburg that came late, and everyone was hurrying off to get on the train. After all the passengers had boarded, I was still slowly making my way to the train, hobbled by my sore foot, and weighed down by my backpack. To my surprise, the train driver stood outside, attentively observing my steps, ensuring that the train wouldn’t depart without me. As I finally boarded, a round of applause and encouragement filled the carriage. Embarrassingly, I did not understand a piece of German word. That’s what, I believe, was the best moment of my Europe trip.

Europe, a continent that has inspired artists, poets, and explorers for centuries, continues to captivate the heart of a guy who wander its streets and chase for its beautiful treasures. Travel in Europe is generally easy, especially if we are well-prepared, given that the majority of Europeans can speak English and Europe’s public-transit systems are so good that can reach almost everywhere. If you have a calling for Europe, pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and let Europe’s enchantment unfold before your eyes.



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