|The Glacier Express in Switzerland. Photo by Martin Kers and is the property of Eurail. Unauthorized use is prohibited.|
As you know by now, my love affair and passion for travel on Europe's rivers and rails runs deep as told in my Viking River chronicles and my adventure aboard the overnight train from Florence to Paris. Which is why when I found out about a new book that recounts one man's InterRail journey in Europe, I was bursting with excitement and had to find out more about this young man's travelogue.
|Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic. Photo by Martin Kers and is the property of Eurail. Unauthorized use is prohibited.|
|"InterRail" by Alessandro Gallenzi. Photo|
property of Alma Books. Unauthorized
use is prohibited.
At the same time, I received an email from Alma Books inviting me to participate in a promotion for the new book entitled "Inter Rail" by Alessandro Gallenzi; and they asked if I would be interested in an article written by the author for EuroTravelogue. As you can imagine, my response was an unequivocal and absolute yes! Plus, I would have access to some amazing images as well. In exchange for a copy of the soon-to-be-released title and the author's guest post, I promised to post his article on my site and promote Alma Books' sweepstakes; plus a EuroTravelogue sweepstakes, both of which have now ended. I believe Alessandro's inspiring story will resonate with all of you as do similar accounts of my "journeys along the way" that you have read on EuroTravelogue!
Without further ado, I introduce my guest author Alessandro Gallenzi who shares his inspiration for "Interrail" which releases next Wednesday July 25, 2012. You can read more about Alessandro and the sweepstakes at the end of his inspiring tale. I hope you enjoy this brief introduction of something soon to become a longtime favorite.
|High speed ICE train at full speed in Germany. Photo property of Eurail. Unauthorized use is prohibited.|
Travelling by train has always been my favourite means of getting around, and trains have played a decisive role in many moments of my life. I jumped on a sleeper once to break up with my girlfriend the following morning five hundred kilometres from home. And the moment I knew I loved my future wife was when I saw her walking towards me out of a crowd of anonymous passengers at Stazione Termini in Rome.
But the single most important experience in my youth was when I set out on an InterRail trip in the summer of 1992. I was twenty-two years old, and it was my first real foray outside Italy. I was supposed to travel with a friend of mine, Massimo, but he bailed out on me at the very last minute, so I had to pluck up courage and leave on my own – on a journey that was as much one of exploration as it was of self-discovery.
Twenty years and many journeys later, with middle age round the corner and a solid life stratified around me – a wife, two kids, full-time work, a car, a mortgage – it is with a touch of nostalgia that I look back on that life-changing trip. And I tried to capture some of its romanticism, the sense of freedom, novelty, unpredictability, in a novel which uses a train journey as a frame for a picaresque journey through Europe.
"InterRail," which is published next week, is intended to be a celebration of being young, of still being able to mould your own future, of not having to worry about the “thorns of life” – of getting away from your comfort zone, from your parents and from the narrow bounds of the place you have been living in so far, perhaps unquestioningly.
"InterRail," in short, is a metaphor of life itself, of having to make constant choices and be prepared to jump from one train onto another. I wanted to show how the experience shapes a young man, how it teaches him many different ways of life across the various countries, and how he meets with love, danger and disappointment.
I hope this book will inspire readers on all their future journeys, and prompt them to break away – at least for a while – from their habits and routines.
|Swiss station. Photo by Martin Kers and is the property of Eurail. Unauthorized use is prohibited.|
More about Alessandro Gallenzi
Alessandro Gallenzi is the founder of Hesperus Press, Alma Books and Oneworld Classics, and the successor of John Calder at the helm of Calder Publications. As well as being a literary publisher with over 10 years of experience, he is a translator, a poet, a playwright and a novelist. His collection of poetry Modern Bestiary—Ars Poetastrica was published in 2005 to critical acclaim. He lives in Richmond with his wife and two children.
|A most spectacular view of Switzerland from the panorama car aboard the Bernina Express. Photo property of Eurail. Unauthorized use is prohibited.|
EuroTravelogue "InterRail" Sweepstakes (Ended and our winner will be announced soon!
In the comments below, share your inspiring tale of a past, present or dream of a future journey on InterRail. Once again, Alessandro will read through your comments below and select the winner who will receive a copy of his new book "InterRail." Remember, you must be over 18 and a European Union resident to enter. If you live outside the EU, please feel free to share your comment anyway. I would love to hear about your experiences on InterRail. Good luck and thank you. EuroTravelogue's winner will be announced in August 2012 so please check back periodically for the big news or feel free to send me an email at JeffTitelius@gmail.com and I will let you know.