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Life Love & Adventure Follow my journeys around this little blue planet as I tread wearily into unknown waters, sipping on the nectars of ancient fruit trees, grappling linguistics with foreign tongues, and bathing in exotic sensations ...

The long train to Budapest

HUNGARY | Friday, 25 April 2014 | Views [378] | Comments [1]

The pre-dawn start at the Brasov station went smoothly and we found ourselves to be the only passengers in the first class carriage.  It didn't take long before we left the city behind and the familiar scenes of farmland and woodlands replaced the concrete, iron and bitumen.  Dark grey clouds diffused the morning sun but thankfully there was no rain, and when we saw our first group of deer running from the sound of the Diesel engine, that mixed feeling of excitement and anxiety of heading into the unknown ushered in the time to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
 
Waves of low cloud rolled off snow-capped mountains and rolling hills as farmers in the small villages woke up their sheep or cattle, when one particularly massive peak broke through the clouds to dominate the landscape. But before long, our empty stomachs pushed us to the dining cart, where I had to wake up the snoozing chef to cook us some omelettes :)
 
The rest of the morning passed slowly to the click-clacking of the train as it passed through more rolling hills and farmland. I was surprised to see more than one solar panel farm along the way, showing that Romanians are at least trying alternative energies in advance of some other more wealthy countries (*cough cough*) But having said that, their local forestry industry is alive and well with some timber yards being stock-piled with pine logs and the occasional coal-powered power stations still evident.
 
About half way through the trip we stopped to swap the Diesel engine with an electric one, and I immediately noticed the absence of the low hum of the diesel. But the countryside kept on passing by and the sun made an appearance for a short while, but by the time we had finished a couple of wines over lunch, the clouds regained their territory.
 
This is why I enjoy travelling by train so much. The slow rolling out of the day allows me as an observer to ride along with it, free to day dream, speculate, ponder, admire, and soak in the new sights and reflect on what is important in life, with the knowledge that I'll arrive at my destination when the time is right.
 
There were a few more stops before reaching Budapest, two for passport checks. We didn't realise that clocks are set back an hour in Hungary so the journey was just that much longer. But after finally getting there, and sorting out a little issue with our Eurorail Pass (I forget to get the ticket activated for this section of the trip), we taxied to the hotel and refreshed ourselves before enjoying a yummy dinner in the Restaurant Pilvax.
 
It's been such a long day with the early start, late finish, new language, new currency, new megalopolis city, that my brain has overloaded and shorted out. I think it's time to reboot and prepare for the next adventure tomorrow!
 
Addendum: in familiarising ourselves with the Hungarian language, whose words would win you top points in scrabble if they allowed all those J's, K's and Z's, mum's quote of the day is "Their words are all too long, I bet all their books are huge!!"

Comments

1

Thank you Matt for you're travel blog "train to Budapest" it brought back lovely memories, of us sitting on long train. Journeys reflecting, and imagining xxxxxx

  Trudi and Jeff Apr 26, 2014 9:28 AM

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