Whew! I though I would get kicked off a train today. My global pass gives me free travel on any train in Europe, however some trains require reservations and can often have a seat surcharge that I have to pay for. The night trains are the most expensive but mostly the day trains are between 4-7 euros. However if you want to save money as I do you should take the local or regional trains because you don't have to reserve a specific seat.
The IC (inter city) and R (regional) trains are the cheep ones, EC (euro city) and ICN (international city network) are the ones that make you book a seat. So I have been taking IC trains in France, Spain, Germany, and Switzerland. I climbed on to the train in Prague with out checking at the ticket counter if it was the right train, with out calling the reservation line, and with out asking the platform assistant to check my pass, which I have been doing for every other train in every other city so far. Maybe its the cold thats making me cranky, maybe after 15 trains in 17 days I'm getting lazy, or just maybe I'm actually learning what I came here to learn. To chill out!
I will never be as laid back and relaxed as my older brother, I am still me. Evidence of that is that as soon as the train departed the station I took out my Eurail map to see what country side we would be passing and check the large chart for the country, destination, and train type. Thats when my heart hit the floor, in Czeck the IC trains are the fancy expensive ones cause they don't have high speed any thing, and the reservation free trains are what they call "Distance Locale". So here I am on a train with no reservation to be there, and we are heading into the Czeck mountains, where the stations are often small outdoor platforms with automatic ticket machines and no indoor facilities at all.
I heard the conductor open the door and ask for tickets at the end of my cariage and I started to sweat. However when she approached I simply smiled and she stamped my pass with out even a question. Whew! I made it, Yipeeeee!
Lots of Love,