The Eurail Pass is an amazing thing. I used it almost 20 years ago on a whirlwind tour of Europe over Spring Break. Backpacks on our backs, my friend and I traversed Spain, France, Sweden, Denmark, Italy…at this far remove, I’m not even sure anymore. My memory is a haze of Alps, bars, late-night searches for hostels after staggering out of the train station in our next European city, and then further museums, city centers, tours. As our last train pulled into our final stop, I realized someone had stolen my Discman while I slept. The whole trip feels that way to me now, somehow stolen, as if all those cities—Paris, Stockholm, Frankfurt, Prague—were a dreamscape, ephemeral glimpses only made static by my photographs.
The sketched glimpses of famous global cities on the new Staedtler Premium Corium Urbes fountain pen have a similar dreamscape aesthetic—a barrel of calfskin leather with a sketch of a city skyline or iconic symbol with the city name written perpendicularly. There are 35 distinct cities represented in the Corium Urbes line, and it’s impossible to see them all with a Eurail pass, as they span the globe: New York, Paris, Tokyo, Moscow, Johannesburg, Dubai, Rio de Janeiro—every continent and region save Antarctica is represented. The pen and ink art on the barrel is refined and clear—there is no mistaking the Statue of Liberty on the New York pen with