Win a trip to Europe
No kidding you guys! You can actually win a one week Rail Europe trip that includes flights to Paris, hotels and food.
I have been putting off going to Europe forever. I am always scared that I don’t have enough money to do what I want to do (hint: drink wine, look at art and eat lots of cheese). The thing is that I am half Swiss. I am a quarter Polish. I am, by virtue of birth, half European and my mum always said the world would make a lot more sense once I have been there.
Europeans do things differently. My nanna grew things in her garden that no sane Australian would even attempt. She had a rigid commitment to quality and would regularly chastise everyone from waitresses to check-out chicks if things weren’t up to scratch. She sang German operas, played the piano and exhibited the kind of stoicism in the face of difficulties that would put most outback farmers to shame.
My nan was tough but also elegant. Disciplined and artistic. She had a cupboard full of Nutella, a kitchen full of painted cow bells and a heart full of Swiss-German passion.
I want to understand that. My matriarchal line has an ardent love of nature, health food, walking and the arts that I too possess. Some things go deeper that your place of birth. It’s the homeland of my mothers across the centuries, not to mention my Grandfather who named my mum after the church in his village (St. Magdalene’s). I want to stand in that church with people who have similar facial features to me (apparently half the village looks like my family).
I have been planning this trip in my head for 20 years. Researching the train connections. Watching movies like Before Sunrise where lovers meet on a train and The Grand Budapest Hotel where there is a funicular to the hotel’s doorstep; The Night Manager where the main character catches a train past the Matterhorn to work every day.
Trains are my preferred option for travel because you can walk around, drink wine, gaze out the windows and, critically, make new friends. So, to answer the competition question posed by Rail Europe, my creative project hasn’t happened yet. This trip is research for a book about my extraordinary Swiss grandmother.
If you would like to win a trip to Europe, get blogging friends. Here’s the link to the #TalesOnRail competition http://www.raileurope.com.au/deals/talesonrail
Bon chance! Bon voyage! Bon jour!