7.18.2009

The Endless Train Ride Which Wouldn't End

No doubt about it, today was going to be a travel day. We got more than we bargained for though!

Starting the day off in Zagreb, we knew we had to catch the 10am train to Budapest which was due to arrive at 4:30pm. OK, we're getting to Eastern Europe. I'm not expecting everything to be smooth. This area is a little rough around the edges, but I figured if we went with the flow it should be all good.

So we arrive at the train station at about 9:30 and head to our track. While walking there I'm trying to decide what kind of train we're going to get. First thought, "Well Croatia is getting to be wealthier so maybe they have a brand new train for us. That would be nice." then second thought, "This is Croatia, we're going to Hungary, I'll probably be riding on a train made of wood sitting next to a goat and a fat Hungarian mama with a big mole on her nose."

Well at 10am the train pulled in and my questions were answered. It wasn't a nice train, but it wasn't a nasty one either. Rather it was probably an old Deutsche Bahn train from the 1980's. That I can deal with. We were worried that there weren't going to be any seats since we didn't have reservations, but after we got on our train, our "reservations" were assuaged. Apparently all the country bumpkins we thought we were going to have to sit next to were stuck in second class and on cars going to different cities. So essentially Kristen and I got a six hour ride through the Croatian and Hungarian countryside by ourselves. It was relaxing but uneventful. Since it's not that interesting I'll express it in this Haiku:

Running through Croatia
Cross into Hungary
Summer rains slow us down

So yeah, not thrilling but not bad either. It was like a lazy Sunday with reading and napping all while looking at the rainy countryside. However, with rain comes tardiness as far as trains are concerned. So unfortunately, we didn't arrive in Budapest until 7:30pm, about three hours and some change late. You win some and you lose some.

Once here we headed to our hostel, which is nice. Immediately after we headed off to get some dinner and found a nice restaurant with some Hungarian food. We ended up with a nice pepper soup and potato dumplings. Very filling and good.

Once back to our hostel we're resting for the day tomorrow!

So far I like Budapest. It's attractive and cheap. Both are qualities I look for in a city. Earlier today I was lamenting at some of the cities I've visited that are in Eastern Europe (Bratislava, Zagreb), basically since the Euro has come about, plus the weak U.S. Dollar, it's not cheap to travel there. Many times it's more expensive that the United States. While that was surprising to me, it also makes me enjoy the cities in France and Germany. Yes they are expensive, but you get all the amenities with it. In the more "remote" Euro countries, you just get a big bill. Oh well, been there done that. Next time I'll just wait for the Dollar to get stronger, though that may be a long wait.

Pictures from Today:



Yesterday:



The Day Before:

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