From Croatia to Hungary - via train.
30.05.2013 - 30.05.2013 16 °C
How to describe today's weather? Dismal - pretty much sums it up! We woke up at 6am this morning - raining. Now 1pm - still raining. Good thing that it's a travel day today.
We had our last hotel breakfast for this trip and went and said goodbye Mirjana who was organising her next tour group in the foyer. A car picked us up and drove us to Zagreb Train Station - about a 5 minute journey.
We had to wait around a bit but then got on to the right platform to catch our train to Budapest. These tickets were really cheap - and now we know why!
The train was 20 minutes late. Information was in very short supply - consequently we got on the wrong end of the train for the destination of Budapest. There were people and bags everywhere - everyone trying to get on to the train at the same time. The corridors were narrow - aaggghhhh! At this point I thought that we'd be standing for 6 hours - all the way to Budapest! The conductor advised us that we'd need to move forward - 4 carriages - a physical impossibility! I asked him in broken English if we could get off at the next station, move along the platform and get back on the train in the right section. That's exactly what we did, with the conductor pulling one of our bags. It was quite a sight - the conductor with his hand up holding up the train while running along with one of our bags, and us 2 crazy people running along behind him dragging bags in the rain. He helped us up the steep steps on to the train - we thanked him and went on our way, finally finding spots for our luggage and a 6 person compartment with only 2 people in it. At last!
After about half an hour those 2 people got off the train, so we now have the compartment to ourselves. There is water on the floor in the compartment - swishing around. I really hope that it's rain water!?! I'll leave the toilets to your imagination :-( !!
We had a visit from Hungarian Border Patrol, Customs and have now crossed the border into Hungary. Still raining. Actually, we're quite enjoying this train trip. Believe it or not, this is the first extended period of time that we've had to sit and talk quietly about what we've done so far, where we've been etc. It's quite relaxing.
We've had lunch in the Dining Car - it's actually quite nice here, but the meal time is only 40 minutes - so now we have to vacate!
We passed through some very pretty countryside coming closer to Budapest - a beautiful lake with really nice holiday homes dotted along the banks. This is apparently the place to visit if you're coming to Budapest for a rest. The wildflowers that we past were quite unexpected and right along the train line. A sea of purple and white, and poppies absolutely everywhere.
We arrived at Budapest Deli pu station just before 5pm - not the prettiest part of the city, that's for sure. We needed some local currency - Forints, so I minded the bags while Red crossed one of the huge roads to find an ATM. Forints are in huge denominations, so we have to take off two zeros and then halve it (roughly) ie. 10,000 Forints = $50 AUD.
We rang a taxi (instructions from Andrea - who we are renting the apartment from). The taxi arrived quickly and after about 20 minutes of wrestling the peak hour traffic, we arrived at our apartment in the 6th District on the Pest side of the city - just off Andrassy St.
Andrea was there to meet us - a lovely young Hungarian lady. She showed us how to work this and that in the apartment - it's really good (room to move), and left us alone to unpack and get settled. We're here for 4 nights.
We had a very easy tea - and did some washing (long overdue). The place now looks like a chinese laundry.
No photos today!