It seems the world is much more romantic when viewed through a train window. As I ride from Berlin to Prague, I am overcome with a warm, fuzzy kind of happiness. My heart skips with excitement and wonder as I look upon lush green fields adorned with sunshine-yellow dandelions; eminent rows of wind turbines; uniformed villages with red-roofed, white-walled, flower-boxed houses; and bold stone cliffs with pine-lined ridges that flank lazy streams. Approaching the German-Czech border, the train snaked around a river bend to reveal a white castle perched on a cliff edge – that’s right – a castle! What a wonderful, magical world!
I have imagined travelling though Europe by train for as long as I can remember. As a child I believed it would be a more Hogswarts Express-like experience: steam billowing from the train as I travelled to a far-away land. In my final year of school, I wrote a novella that attempted to explore the metaphysical journey of a teen in emotional turmoil, as represented through train travel and bold adventures in Europe. All I had to base my words were pictures, travel accounts and an enthusiastic imagination.
But now, as I sit in my window seat and watch the Czech countryside flash by, I realise my past musings were not so far from the glorious reality, which has been worth dreaming about.