Many of the border crossings with poor or no longer functional rail infrastructure are hard to reach by any form of public transport, especially in a time efficient manner. That meant planning to take a folding bicycle along with me – something I have tested with success on some smaller journeys. A folding bike also avoids the headaches in some countries that still do not allow regular bicycles to be conveyed. Having experimented with a Dahon bike on a recent trip, I have concluded I will take the Birdy (pictured) with me. It is lighter and easier to transport when folded. Everything is all ready and prepared for the trip!

The most cost-efficient way to do this whole trip is to use a 2 month, all zones Interrail pass – that costs €731. Some high speed trains need compulsory reservations that normally cost about €10 a time, and the handful of night trains also need reservations for couchette or sleeping car beds. All together the tickets should total no more than €1000.

The compressed nature of the trip – no more than 1 night spent in any one place – means a new place to sleep every night. Were friends or activists willing to put me up I will be happy to save money that way. And I am going to need a small budget for food each day.