In the past 10 days, I’ve spent countless hours on the various types of SBB train in Switzerland. Traveling from villages to cities to the top of the Swiss Alps. Switzerland has many different train routes.
To date, I’ve only traveled on the train once in Canada. Though I’ve traveled on trains in India, Turkey, Japan, Vietnam, Peru, Tibet, Western Europe and Central Europe. Train travel can be time efficient though a bit more costly. In Switzerland there’s no long distance buses, so unless I rent a car and share it with a few people – it’s not cost effective as a solo traveler.
However, I must say I’m quite impressed by the various types of trains used on the various routes in Switzerland. Some trains are noticeably purpose driven in their design while others purely serves the purpose to commute passengers from point A to point B. Continue reading
My first time in Europe was back in 2002, I pre-purchased a EUrail pass and traveled to multiple countries in Western Europe. That was the thing to do with a backpack. Pick the number of travel days within a limited time span and a number of countries and you are set to explore the continent. Though expensive, it made traveling between countries and within each country scenic, fast and efficient. EUrail also has a historical significance as that was the method in which millions of travelers moved from one location to anther for decades in Europe.
In 2006, I visited 5 different countries (England, Ireland, France, Italy and Germany). The 4 of us flew with Ryanair within the European continent. I still remember the flight between Milan to Paris was only 1 euro plus applicable taxes which cost us less than $25 CAD in total. However, we failed to consider the additional costs required to commute between the city center and the smaller airports that Ryanair used. Though I think it was still much cheaper than traveling on the train and took us less time.
12 years later, in 2014, I’ve discovered bus travel in Europe as a new method to save money and see the landscape! After arriving in Hamburg, Germany my friend spoke of her 15€ bus ride between Hamburg and Berlin. When I moved into a hostel, my dorm mate took a 11-hours bus ride from Gothenburg, Sweden to Hamburg.
Hamburg ZOB – main bus station
Today I live in a society where the use of labels has become prolific. Every minute of every day, each action each person is given a label and grouped together. Individualism is frowned upon. Some people are detered from pushing the envelope.
Travel – local or abroad – is also known as many other words. Escape. Vacation. Break. Holiday. Journey. Pilgrimage. Tour.
After 25 days of bus and ferry travel in Greece; solo and with new friends – I’ve gathered a few more observations to share with you.
Curiosity keeps me alert and asking questions. I’d like to talk candidly about them here. This conversation started on this other post. If you already have read it, welcome back!
Earlier in June of 2014, I was ready to leave Northern Greece for the South. I had arrived in Greece on a bus from Istanbul and thought I would continue my odyssey by bus – to save money and see more of the landscape as I could afford the time.
I started searching online while I was in Meteora and Corfu about what’s there to explore between the North and Athens. There are countless points of interests depending on preferences. Direct buses does save money but I have to consider what I really want to see.
So I paid more and spent a bit more time and decided that on my way to Athens from Corfu, I would make a short visit in Olympia. If you’re not aware, Olympia is where the very first Olympics where held back in 776 BC. So I figured it would be worth the trip!
Brace yourself for a taste of “The Amazing Race” style of traveling.
From my research for this day trip or over night journey I was getting mixed messages on forums, websites and face-to-face discussions so I thought I’d make it short and sweet here.
First there are 2 long distanc bus terminals in Athens, don’t go to the wrong one!
Head to the bus station at Liosion 260.
Athens bus station at Liosion 260 to Delphi Greece
I have a habit of being curious and noticing oddities. At home or abroad.
When I notice oddities or something different than what I am used to, I cannot help but do minor comparisons.
Greek flag flying high above the White Tower of Thessaloniki, Greece
Here are some things I noticed while in Greece…
YYZ to IST flight map on board Turkish airlines TK18
When I was ready to book my return visit to the beautiful country of Turkey – I scoured the interweb for an amazing deal!
The average price I found for a return flight between Toronto and Istanbul was around $1200 CAD for departure in June 2014 and return in November 2014. This search for flights occurred within February 2014. As I am a keen collector of frequent flyer miles with my credit cards, as discussed in this post – I looked into the costs associated with redeeming my points for a ticket.
With my Aeroplan points, Air Canada offered a return flights for 75,000 points and approx. $400 (for tax an fees). I thought that was appalling – $400 just for taxes and fees!!