When I started my Interrail trip I had no idea how long the journey would take, which places I would reach or where I would sleep. Since I was busy with my bachelor thesis until two days before departure, I had no time to plan anything. So I was all the happier when I could leave everything behind me and finally get on the train. I simply decided to always go where the weather forecast was good. Thanks to the flexible Interrail ticket I could be very spontaneous.

My first stop was Ljubljana, from there my journey led me further to Villach and over the Carnic High Route into the Lesach Valley. There I took the train to South Tyrol. High above Bolzano I spent a few days on Monte Penegal. Afterwards I went via Innsbruck to Vorarlberg, where I climbed some mountains around Lüner Lake. A few days later I travelled to Lake Constance and Appenzell in Switzerland, where I stayed overnight on a farm and slept in straw. There were also some hikes in the Alpstein range on the list, before I finally continued by train to Zermatt in the Valais Alps. Starting in Täsch I climbed to the foot of the Matterhorn. Afterwards I spent two days in the Bernese Highlands at Lake Oeschinen, before I visited a swiss family I had met at a hut in Austria. After 18 days, 3000 photos and 237 km on foot I finally came back to Munich full of impressions.

To cut a long story short, it was just great. I could just live for the moment and do whatever I wanted. I got to know many people, we had interesting conversations about climate change, agriculture, politics, work, football and society. I was allowed to see unique mountains, lakes and valleys. They let me be free.

Finally, I would like to thank the YOALIN team and all other organizations and institutions that made the project possible. I hope that Youth Alpine Interrail will be offered again next year and that many more young people can discover the beauties of the Alps that we all have to preserve.

Jonas Voit