14 august Weathley (ENGLAND)

[Takx]: "Eclipse day. At about 10.30 Marc comes to wake us up because in a few minutes this great event would have occurred.

I run, Mark keeps on sleeping... Sincerely I was expecting a darkening as late night, I have been very disappointed"...

In the afternoon we go back to Oxford where Whiff prepares us a great typical English dinner. Yorkshire pudding with a delicious sauce... So good!

[Stephen Smith alias "Whiff" from Oxford, England]: "A full stomach will always be a good start to the day so eat plenty of this freaking Yorkshire Pudding before you go out in the evenings.

Enjoy your travels on your way home and thank you for coming to Oxford as part of your journey".

15 august Dover (ENGLAND)

We wanted to catch the train to Brighton at 10.20 am but we managed to get to the train station only at 17.20. Too bad, we will go directly to Calais after saying good bye to Great Britain.

At Dover port, while we were chatting with two German girls, looking at their ticket, I notice that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time! They had to go to Oostende, in Holland, instead they were sailing with us to France!

We help them to find the right way and then we have dinner with a girl from Turin, called Anna, just arrived from France, with baguettes and Alps cheeses!

[Takx]: "Anna started a trip hitch-hiking towards Spain with a girl known during the journey!

On the Pyrenees, after a violent discussion, they split. Anna decides to go to England travelling, hidden in the WC of the trains, crossing the whole France. Now she was there with us telling us her adventure!"

[Klara Haberbosch from Meckenbeuren, Germany]: "During a trip you learn to know new people, different traditions and new way of life. During a journey you feel free as a bird!"

Our ferry is at 4.30 a.m., we'd better have a rest!

16 august Bruxelles (BELGIUM)

5.25 a.m. Takx wakes me up in an alarmed way! We have just missed our ferry!

After many adventures, tickets changes, lines etc. etc. we manage to get to Calais in France and from there, with a couple of guys from Turin, met at the port, we direct to Bruxelles!

This city looks an old and dusty room!

[Takx]: "It's a weird city and the worthy capital of Belgium that, as I see from the train windows, has her same characteristics.

More than a "dusty room", it looks more a "dusty painting" because, in order to discover her beauty, you have to clean it up. Everything is opaque, shabby, all the buildings are dull as manikins with the orbits removed. And then it refuses the colour: flashy colours as McDonald's signs are out of place on an infinite series of grey tonalities. It's a poisoned city that no one hears dying, you need enough insensibility to bear Bruxelles, I love it!"

17 august Amsterdam (HOLLAND)

As soon as we get out of the train station of the Dutch capital, it's seven a.m. of a Sunday morning, the first thing we notice is a Chinese guy that is rolling a cannabis.

He's been stoned since early in the morning or he's keeping on something started last night?

We direct towards Dam Square crossing a huge road that seems to be the theatre of a battle just ended. Many guys collapsed and lying down on the ground having rest, bottles of alcohol, pieces everywhere, filters, cigarettes papers...

Where are we?

We enter a coffee shop that expose a huge mushroom... They were selling many hallucinogen substances, I hardly can keep Takx...

They make us taste a fine powder extracted by the so-called "Psycocybe Cubensis".

But maybe the dose was too tiny seen the scarce effects...

"We quarrelled a lot until late about the chance to have a travel itinerary
witnessed on our central nervous system: it would be the only explanation of our crazy restlessness."

- B. Chatwin -

18 august Luxembourg (LUXEMBOURG)

Arrived in the heart of the night in Luxembourg City, we notice that we are the only one around beyond another couple of inter railers...

The two Italians and the two Austrian try vainly to reach a camping to spend the night in. There are no more buses. What shall we do now?

Ancle suggests a Luxembourg City tour by night. We all agree! We leave our heavy back packs in the station and we start hanging around in the silent and lonely streets.

At about one a.m. it starts raining so much... It's getting colder and colder. We take cover under a bus stop when we decide to go back to the train station, but it's closed. We manage to enter through a secondary entrance but the controller send us away in a bad way. It opens only at four a.m.. I soon take my backpack and I wear a long trousers and a sweatshirt. We soon fall asleep, each of us on his backpack and, at the end, we miss our train to Paris!

19 august Paris (FRANCE)

The first thing we do when we get to Paris is to go to the Eiffel Tower.

We have lunch in a park nearby and then we have rest just under this huge monument, symbol of France!

We are realy tired... We understand that from every single thing... but there is always time for new adventures, that's why we already think about the following one.

We are going to try to reach Spain without ticket!

20 august San Sebastian (SPAIN)

Amano. 23 years old guy from Japan, was going to Bilbao on holiday before moving to Moscow to study architecture. He got lost and we helped him to find the way, a new mate for the Spanish part!

In this quite Basque city there are leaflets and stickers everywhere against Spain and in favour of the Basque independence! I feel like I'm in a Latin Belfast... These "Spanish" are very nationalists, few of them speak English, maybe because they are busy at studying the Basque language that is very difficult! Who knows!

It's weird lying down on this summer beach after a month of rain, wind, fog and cold!

[Paolo from Vercelli, Italy]: "Inter rail tires your body, sets your mind free, fill your lungs of smoke and only who has a rustproof liver survives. You live the inter rail inside, you bring the journey with you, the backpack is your home, the road: your tomorrow.

All men die, not all men really live".

21 august Monte Carlo (PRINCIPAT OF MONACO)

Takx wants to play at casino... Here we are then in a destination for VIPs to satisfy his desire...

We have already been told that you can play only if you are more than 21 years old (and we are 19!)

Strolling around we notice that Monte Carlo is a very weird city, it's a mix of all the richest people from France, Switzerland, Italy and Germany.

It's very worldly, just in front of me there are many deluxe yachts moored; you can see everywhere very expensive cars: Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini... There are a lot of advertisements of Formula Uno, don't forget that they run a stage of the Gran Premio here...

Takx comes back defeated. They don't let him play here. Let's try in Nice, in France, they tell us that there are different rules over there...

"Glad, who as Ulysses, made a nice trip."

- Joachim du Bellay -

22 august Nice (FRANCE)

We are in front of casino "Ruhl". Takx has just decided to play 100.000 lire (50 euro), about three bets"

[Takx]: "Damn. I didn't do it. We should have waited till the late evening and the entrance was very expensive too... Whatever... C'est la vie...

At last we go back home. I say at last because yesterday, while I was hanging around in Monte Carlo I saw a wonderful chicken, juicy and inviting in the roasting-jack and I missed home... While I'm writing, we are in Italy again, here our inter rail ticket is not valid. Let's hope that no one find it out, anyway "we will manage", will we Mark?

Now I understand the wandering of the adventurers, with no fixed abode, who procure food day by day and that they never know what will happen the following day, where they will be.

While I'm coming back home: tired, dirty, slimmer and starving after this journey, I can say I had a very good time!"

 

I left Takx one hour ago in Trento and I'm keeping on till Bozen. I'm going to my parents who are on holiday near the border with Austria.

29 hours by train later. In twenty minutes I'll see them again after so long... We are coming back to the routine, but it's not the same anymore!

 

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