The Grand Rail Tour of Europe 2017

5 Countries, 31 Towns & Cities, 26 Days, 37 Trains, 7 Ferries, many Trams and Metros........

.....and 10 concerts!

"We definitely created a unique story, as we travelled through Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany."

 

 

DAY 1: Leaving Palma, Mallorca, Spain, for the seven hour crossing to Valencia

 

DAY 2: Oliva, Spain - spending a few days with our friends Martin & Gayle Scott who live right on one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Spain!

 

DAY 3: Our first concert of the tour took place at Mas La Pau in Lliber, Spain. We played outdoors in beautiful sunshine with stunning views of the mountains.

 

DAY 5: A long train journey from Gandia to Valencia, Barcelona and finally Cerbere, France. This is a beautiful little village just over the border from Spain......

.................so we spent two nights here.

 

DAY 7: We headed off to Avignon, France to view the Palais des Papes........

 

...................and eat the biggest salad ever!

 

Rail travel is definitely the best way of meeting people.

 

But you need to travel as light as possible........like we did.

 

DAY 8: We travelled to Monaco via Nice which gave us the opportunity to see the Casino.....................

.

...............the historic Grand Prix Circuit

 

...........and make sure we avoided restaurants with prices like these!!

 

DAY 9: When you visit Nice, the Promenade des Anglais is the place to see and be seen.

 

Later that day we headed off to Milan, Italy. Our train was delayed for two hours owing to a security alert in Marseille. France is on high alert these days, following the dreadful terrorist attacks in the country.

 

DAY 10: Milan is a city that is filled with beautiful buildings. When you arrive at Milan Centrale Station, it's grandeur and scale takes your breath away! Take a look at these photos.........

 

The magnificent Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, are places you must visit.......

...........and take a ride on one of the city's trams.

 

We enjoyed our time in Milan and the opportunity to do a concert, organised by our friends Giuseppe and Paola De Chirico and Andrea Merli

 

DAY 11: We left Milan and travelled to Varenna where we spent the day sailing on Lake Como......

 

........and ended the day at Caffe Varenna, where we enjoyed a wonderful dinner while watching the sun setting over the lake.

 

DAY 12: This was the highlight of our rail journey, as we travelled from Tirano, Italy to Chur, Switzerland on the famous Bernina Express.........

 

The journey takes 4 hours and climbs steadily, crossing the Bernina Glacier which is 2,253 metres above sea level. The views are absolutely spectacular!

 

DAYS 13 to 17: We were in Switzerland and played four concerts in Bern, Rüegsauschachen, Glarus & Rheineck.

 

In Rüegsauschachen we played in Pat's Instrumenten-Shop. What a great place for a gig. Loads of excellent gear to use!

 

We also got to play a few songs accompanied by the legendary Bene Muller.

 

When in Switzerland it would be wrong not to eat as much of their chocolate as possible. This particular sample was a souvenir of Rheineck, given to us by Claudius and Margrit Zuber

 

DAY 18: Was spent at the lakeside city of Konstanz, Germany.

 

DAY 19: We headed to Frankfurt, Germany, to enjoy a Limoncello in a good Italian restaurant, before our concert at CZF Frankfurt on DAY 20.

 

 

DAY 21: We departed Frankfurt for Hannover...............

 

.......where we got to hang out with friends such as Karl-Arthur Rauxloh & Lothar Kosse...

 

...............at the Songwriters' Camp, where we spoke in the morning of DAY 22

 

................before catching the afternoon train to Hamburg for a house concert there,

 

..........hosted by our friends Andreas & Martina Zerger

 

DAY 23: We had a great seat upfront, behind the driver, on the ICE from Hamburg to Bielefeld,

 

where we gave another house concert.

 

DAY 24: Our final concert took place in Fallersleben, near Wolfsburg (the home of Volkswagen). We had lunch at the Volkswagen Museum

 

and in the evening played the concert

 

followed by eating and drinking with our hosts, until late into the night!

 

DAY 25: We began the long journey home to Spain, with a train journey from Wolfsburg to Karlsruhe on a very overcrowded Intercity Express, connecting with the ICE for Paris, France, where we spent the night.

 

What is the best thing to do when you only have an evening in Paris? Our solution was to take a boat ride down the River Seine, which gave us the opportunity to see all the important landmarks of the city, such as the Eiffel Tower

and Notre Dame at sunset.

 

DAY 26: We travelled from Paris to Nimes on the TGV, which travels at around 200mph through the French countryside.

 

and from there we caught the AVE high-speed train to Barcelona

 

where we took the overnight ferry to Palma, Mallorca, departing at 23.00

 

and arriving home in Palma at 7am the following morning.

 

 

The end of a fantastic journey and one which we hope to do again before too long. This is our completed Travel Diary for days 5 to 26.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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