Words: Rosina Friedel // Photos: Moritz Waas
El.Makrell is a ski crew based in Innsbruck currently on an unconventional ski trip: a four-week journey across Eastern Europe via Interrail.
After our first film “Chachajunks,” the El.Makrell crew is now making our second movie, planned for release in Fall 2019. Our goal is a ski film that shows a different way of traveling. We’re driven by the motivation to get around without air travel, exploring new mountains while producing fewer emissions. Using the Interrail Global Pass, 30 countries across Europe are open to adventure and exploration.
"If they freed me from this prison / If that railroad train was mine / I bet I'd move out over a little / Farther down the line" - Johnny Cash
We began our trip at Innsbruck’s main station, and headed first for Slovenia, where we were welcomed with open arms at Kanin—the country’s highest ski resort—for three days of freeriding and urban sessions in the evenings. From there, we continued on with the Croatian railway to Sarajevo. The Bosnian capital is a mecca for street skiing. Riding the streetcars with traditional burek pastries in our pockets, we were able to access a wide variety of spots. For €9 a night, you can get a well-appointed AirBnB right in the middle of the war-scarred town center. The only thing you need to watch out for is the taxi drivers, always ready to try their luck with an overpriced fare.
El.Makrell’s “Why to Travel by Train”
• Reduced CO2 Emissions
• A great way to travel for landscape enthusiasts or instagram voyeurs
• 30 countries on the Interrail Global Pass
• Perfect for adventurers and chillers alike
• Room for a big crew
• Relaxed multitasking while traveling
• More freedom of movement than other transport options
• Space for your fitness program
After a night in the Serbian capital of Belgrade, the Makrells’ next destination was Romania. We used a transit bus to cross the border into this E.U. country. The deal: €250 for 9 people (squeezed into a car made for 8) as long as you cross the border by foot. Okey-dokey! The adventure continued… after a few skeptical questions from the border guards, we found ourselves at the Timisoara train station and after nine hours on the Romanian night train, we arrived at the ski area of Poiana Brasov. At this mountain between the south and east Carpathians, we used a point-based ski pass to hike to different spots, while making some acquaintances among the local mountain police.
"I'm sitting in the railway station / Got a ticket to my destination" - Simon & Garfunkel
"Down around the corner, half a mile from here / See them long trains run, and you watch them disappear" - The Doobie Brothers
Now our journey continues with a taxi ride two hours into the Fagaras Mountains, where backcountry riding awaits our crew in the next days. Unfortunately train connections aren’t always available, and sometimes you need local taxi drivers to get around. It’s like traveling in a can of sardines: all of our luggage and roughly 18 pairs of skis packed into the taxi, which costs about €10-20 for transport into secluded areas.
Our crew journey continues as we chase good snow conditions and hope to inspire others to find ways of traveling more sustainably. Thanks to our flexible train pass, all options remain on the table! Stay tuned for more news from the crew as the train keeps rolling, and for a passionate, adventurous ski film with backcountry, urban and touring all in the package!