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Europe Travel Tips from Neville Millen

Neville Millen has been working up a travelogue on his 2-month trip: Tour of Duty: An art pilgrimage in southern Europe. He took some time out to drop some tips on Europe travel in general, and some accommodation he recommends:

Here is a personal catch up. You must be sick of hearing from me – here is something for YOU!
Travel is not all fun , there are trials and tribulations such as nearly being thrown off the train in Italy for changing a date on the Eurail pass after being instructed to do so in France to make up for the rail strike that left us stranded between Barcelona and Avignon.
There are also the funny incidents also. I saw a tramp – a bit demented – in Spain using a banana as a mobile phone. I used this technique to scare off people who bugged me with their phones on all the time when too close and in Internet cafes I hate couples or groups talking so loud on their phones while I was posting stuff. I just up and spoke to the monitor in the same loud tones and these people soon moved to avoid the mad Ozzie. Beware he has mad-cow disease or Mobile phone phobia!!!
I promised to send to you some personal stuff for your own tour of the European continent. Here goes a stream of consciousness.
Don’t bother to learn languages – there is always someone who speaks English better than you and me – us Yanks and Ozzies have corrupted the language to our own styles. Look for a young stylish person with brief-case or business type and there you have the instant interpreter.
Having said that I did 2 years Spanish at University and five years Latin, so I get by okay in Italy as well. You just need phrase books for about $5-10 US each with everyday words and you can get by. There was always someone in the hotels we stayed at, who spoke good clear English and if they didn’t sign language and some improvisation always got us through. The only difficulty I had was getting through to some thick, fascist Italian conductor who demanded that I pay a fine. I wasn’t going to pay 100 Euro fine plus 60 Euro fare for altering 11 to 16 on my Eurail pass after France had a rail strike on June 11 and I struck out big time. Don’t get me started on Eurail, you might lose some custom, but it is a bit of a con to pay and then virtually have to reserve every damn seat you sit on for extra big money . I am not the elephant man but sometimes I felt shunned in public to be using a Eurail pass. They have to lift their game over here on this caper.
that’s about it. I have one more idea, a rant rally about some of the shit one has to endure daily while travelling, but in the fullness of time is
the essential ingredients of quality experiential travel.

  • Smoking and butt flicking
  • dog shit on parade
  • oddballs- simple and dangerous
  • begging- simple and with attitude
  • ironsides-cripples spotted in a day (57)from
  • using cobbled roads
  • train traumas
    Cheers for now