Saturday, May 27, 2006

rail or air?

I'm in the middle of planning my trip to Europe. I leave in less than a month! Of course, the primary purpose of my trip is to visit Chateau Mac, all that conference and work stuff is just to make the trip seem more legit. Oh, and to get partial funding from my university.

I have my flights to Europe booked, but so far nothing booked between arriving in Zurich on 26 June and leaving Zurich on 13 July. In that time I plan to go to Bern (work), Salzburg (conference) and Berlin (visiting a friend).

Now, I could fly to Salzburg and Berlin (Bern is close to Zurich so that would probably be a train anyway), or for about the same price - probably cheaper - I could buy a 3 country Eurail pass. Of course there is a big difference in travel time - 9 hours to Berlin by train vs. less than 2 hours by air.

I'm leaning towards Eurail for the following reasons:
1. It seems like less hassle, even though it probably isn't
2. I feel like I could get work done while on the train, so it wouldn't be a waste of time
3. I would get to see Swiss and Austrian and German (in short, Germanic) countryside that I may or may not have seen before, but if I have, it was when I was a child, and I don't really remember
4. I have a romantic idea of travelling by train in Europe. It just seems like the thing to do.
5. Speaking of romantic, there's always the possibility that it will turn out like in Before Sunrise, and I'll meet a cute young man on the train who will convince me to get off in Vienna. Except my route doesn't take me through Vienna. Minor detail.

So, rail or air?