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Your favorite travel memories: The winners

 

We asked you for your favorite travel memories, and you delivered. So get ready for a double dose of nostalgia and wanderlust because the results are in! You can find all of the winning photos and stories below...

 

ER Winner Olivia

Winner: Olivia O'Connor - United States

Winner of 2x Eurail Global Passes

 

My favorite travel memory in Europe was sitting in a glass room at The Northern Lights Ranch in Lapland, Finland. I traveled to Finland with three friends in search of seeing the Northern Lights. I looked up at the sky, watching the snow fall while sipping on hot chocolate. This moment reminded me of the feelings of magic and wonder, like when I was a kid. As an adult, sometimes you forget those small moments of pure bliss that can be found when you’re present, out in nature, and enjoying something new with the people you love. As I looked up at the sky, my friend snapped a photo and captured the essence of that trip. I was looking up, wondering what it will be like to see the Northern Lights for the first time. As I sat there, I realized that while seeing the Northern Lights is what brought me to Finland, I was content with the adventure and feelings of excitement I felt just being there and connecting with my friends and myself in a new place.

ER Winner Linda

Winner: Linda Muller - South Africa

Winner of the Eurail passport holder

 

So, in 1998, my boyfriend (now hubby) and I went backpacking in Europe and had the German beerfest on our itenary. We got on an overnight train in Paris….if I remember correctly, we didn’t realise we had to book a seat and the train was full…FULL…so we got chucked out of the compartment (my boyfriend was really sad as he just got chatting to very beautiful Brazilian girl!). We ended up sitting in the section between two coaches with quite a few Italians and French guys. They had a spliff going around and there was a guitar and singing and a lot of laughing…not that we understood much of what was said. I also remember sitting at the step area with my luggage and every time someone opened the door from outside my stuff kept tumbling down the steps. But we made it to Munich in one piece the next morning, left our luggage at the station, went to the beerfest, drank, sat and slept on the sidewalk, drank some more and late the evening left for Italy. A very interesting 24 hours if ever!

ER Winner Samantha Ma

Winner: Samantha Ma - United States

Winner of the Eurail passport holder

 

My best friend and I used our Eurail passes for a girl's trip from Paris to Barcelona, with stops in Lyon, Aix en Provence, Marseilles, and Montpellier along the way. From a spontaneous hike outside of Marseille to immersing ourselves in the French and Catalonian food cultures, it was an adventure for the books! Although we made so many memories on this trip through France and Spain, my favorite memory was wandering along the fragrant, beautiful lavender fields in sunny Provence together, catching up about life since we moved to opposite coasts of the US. Traveling by train together let us enjoy Europe at a nice pace and take in the beautiful countryside as it gently rolled by.

ER Winner Jeffrey

Winner: Jeffrey Schimpff - United States

Winner of the Eurail passport holder

 

My wife and I were on our way by rail from Chamonix toward Switzerland, with a couple days open on our itinerary. We marveled at a beautiful French Alpine valley, and then spotted a campground near the tracks. We got off the train at the next stop, then headed back the opposite direction and got off at the station only a short walk from the campground. We stayed there two nights and enjoyed a blissful hike up the Vallee de Brevard (where we encountered an ibex grazing), chocolate croissants delivered fresh to the cafe' for breakfast, and a delicious dinner in the nearby village. It was wonderful to have such a spontaneous adventure via Eurail.

ER Winner Heather

Winner: Heather Instasi - United States

Winner of the Eurail passport holder

 

4 weeks into a 5 week Europe trip, my husband and I stayed a few nights in Murren, Switzerland. One day we were there, we decided to hike around. We spent all day, over 7 hours, hiking down to the Lauterbrunnen valley, through the valley, and back up. It was a beautiful hot day in the swiss mountains and the most beautiful day we've ever experienced. We were tired and sweaty and walked over 14 miles, but we still talk about that day and how much we loved it. This is one of the views on that hike.

ER Winner Aaron

Winner: Aaron Bartholomew – United States

Winner of the Eurail passport holder

 

I have wonderful memories of my Europe trips; four in all. I swear by train travel as you get to see the countries and not just look down on them from a plane. Train travel allows you to meet other travelers, relax and see the beautiful country side. Playing cards, reading my book, hanging with my traveling campions are part of the treasure let alone the destinations. I do remember one particular time we boarded a train that would eventually be separated into two trains. One went to Berlin and one to Prague. We had a strange feeling we were in the wrong car. The conductor said yes we were so at the next stop we all stood at the door with our heavy backpacks and were at the ready to make the switch. We only had a minute or two. As soon as the train stopped, we went dashing out, nearly falling over due to our packs on our backs, sprinted to the the car behind us and barely made it before the train started moving. At the very next stop they detached the train into two. We just made it and headed to Prague. We laughed at our mistake as we breathed heavily from the anxiety and adventure. It's not much of a story but it is the small things that looking back bring a smile to your face. I hope to go in 2021 if the world settles down. I miss my Europe trips and the nostalgia hits me the very first train I step on. All the memories of the past friends flood my soul.