It was a lot warmer when we got onto the train in Budapest than when we got off in Brasov, despite the fact that we were headed South. The 16-hour train ride was incredible, from the sleeper car to the changing landscape.
The compartment was just long enough for me to lay down on the fold-out bunk and narrow enough that I could touch both sides. Falling asleep was easy while being rocked back and forth by the gentle movement of the train, although the presence of ‘seatbelts’ for sudden stops did give me pause.
For meals we visited the Dining Car, which seemed straight out of a movie. A solitary waiter manned the car, and humored our lack of language ability. Other than the short stroll between the dining car and our compartment, the only thing to do was look out at the world through the window. We passed grey cities, lonely farms, silent woods, and fields covered in snow.
Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the trip because of my unwise decision to bring my phone with me into the Budapest Baths. Here’s one of the final shots it took before a little rehab.
The ride was also interesting in that we stopped three or four different times for border control to come through and look at passports. All the attention was only worth one new stamp in the passport, but this one was unique for the ‘train’ designation on the entry visa.
This ride was truly an amazing experience, and one that also crosses an item off of the life list. Here’s hoping that it won’t be the last long-distance trip by train though.