Inter-railing with kids (for an hour or two).

A couple of years ago, feeling a bit daunted by the claustrophobic chaos of Istanbul, I flew over Slovenia and saw paradise. Laid out under me was the geographical representation of personal space (not so popular in Turkey as in the UK or Finland!). Villages and towns nestled under mountains surrounded by forests pumping out far more fresh air than the inhabitants could ever breathe (Istanbul can feel a little like living in a lift). I pictured myself cycling between small, well spaced villages occasionally looking backwards to give the kids a wave of encouragement (in my dreams they don't need to wee or eat). Cycling with the children has always been part of my daydream mothering and though it will be possible here Istanbul cannot offer the feeling of direction-less, day long exploration by bike that I loved in the Yorkshire Dales, or in my Dad's Derbyshire tales (obviously this is a petty complaint, this city does have compensations!). My other parenting fantasy involves Inter-railing with all our children. Both Ville and I have great memories of the freedom of month long, Europe wide train tickets and I would love to give our brood the gift of those rare moments where anything (or anywhere) feels possible.

A few weeks ago a friend from Ljubljana needed to come to Istanbul and asked if we were interested in swapping homes for a week. Yes! So we have just returned from a week in Slovenia and the map I looked down on has now been heard and felt, and found to be more lovely than I even expected. My favourite thing was that when we climbed into the train that took us to explore the caves of Postojna we found the compartments and couchettes that we remembered from our teenage adventures. So for a few hours I sat with the children travelling past mountains and churches and daydreaming that we could go anywhere.

Matti on the coach to the airport.

Neve at the departure gate.

Neve watching airport vehicles.

Anton waiting for the plane to Ljubljana.

Anton, Neve and Matti on the train to Postojna.

Kisses on the train.

'All the sights of the hill and the plain fly as thick as driving rain'.

Baba, Papa, Daddy.

To the Izhod!

Freedom moments.

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3 thoughts on “Inter-railing with kids (for an hour or two).

  1. Clea13:35

    What a great representation of travelling with kiddies. Eep! I love your words - and am so jealous of your ability to so 'easily' travel from country to country!

  2. Oh how fun, Julia! I'm so glad that you were able to get away for the week! Lovely that you were able to share a fond childhood experience with your own children. We have some fun memories of traveling by train when we were in Thailand. I love Neve's knit pants! And what's not to love about a man with a wee babe in an Ergo? ;-)

  3. What a lovely family! Do you have any photo from the Postojna Cave? Did your children enjoy the funny train ride to the cave?
    Best regards from Postojna Cave.


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