Education Network

Half Term Travels

getting on
getting on

Hi Everyone

My name is Karen and I am the Education Team Leader at TrainEd. I thought you would be interested in reading what I got up to in half term with my son Laurie, who is 10!

When you work on the railway, you get very invested in trains and railway journeys. We have both wanted to take a European interrail adventure for some time, so booked up a week to celebrate Laurie’s 10th birthday. As interrail passes are free for kids, we decided to upgrade my pass to a first-class one to enjoy some hospitality on the way out and back home!

We started off on the LNER from Leeds to London. LNER has a fab first class offer with drinks and food. The seats are really comfy and the 2 1/4 journey flies by in no time.

The journey from London to Brussels only takes 2 hours and because we had 1st class interrail passes, we could travel in Standard Premium which meant more food and drink! It was delicious. The journey is so comfortable and the checking in process is so much less stressful than an airport. You can even take liquids in your bags!

We had 2 fab nights in Brussels where we visited the Atonium, Grand Place Square, the Mannakin Pis and had some waffles! Laurie also wanted to go and see the EU parliament building. The Brussels underground was easy to navigate. We found the door handles interesting… they had handles not buttons!

After two nights in Brussels it was time to head to Berlin… on the sleeper train! We’ve never been on a sleeper train before so were really excited. We booked a 6 birth couchette so that meant we were sleeping in a room with 4 strangers! Two were a couple from Otley which is near where we live and there was also a German man with his teenage son. We weren’t quite sure on the etiquette of who decided when to set the beds up or turn off the light. Some of the other passengers took the lead so we followed suit. At 6am we arrived in Berlin.

This was our first ever visit to Germany and we were excited to check out the trains! We did a lot of sightseeing in the city including Brandenburg Gate, Holocaust Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie and used the U-bahn, which was easy to navigate! We just had to remember to validate our ticket (there were no barriers!). On the second day we used the overground train to head up to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.

Our next long train journey was using the DB ICE train to go from Berlin to Amsterdam. Because we had first class passes, we had a lovely birth all to ourselves. We played Platform Rail’s Takeover Transport game and read our books!

When we arrived in Amsterdam we took a tram to our final lodgings of the trip! A refurbished tram in a hotel! It was a great place to stay for the night we had a comfy bed and took lots of silly selfies pretending to drive the tram. The next day we went to visit the house where Anne Frank hid during the war.

It was finally time to head home! We caught the Eurostar back to London and then got a LNER Azuma back up to Leeds. We had a fab time on our interrail adventure and would recommended it to anyone else. Look at all the stations we went to!

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