I love my travel journal. I take it pretty much everywhere we go but I rarely write in it. I always have the best intentions but hours of walking, sight seeing, pubbing, and the like always get in the way of my literary goals! On our recent trip to Eastern Europe I vowed to do better... I thought my 5 loyal readers would enjoy a peek into the private, travel blubberings of Florida Girl!
23rd August 2009 Day One
Not as early a start as we are used to... we slept til 4:45 am! Ha! Should be in Hungary in about 3 hours. I read the guide book over 3 weeks ago and remember only minor details... for instance, a Hungarian invented the Rubik Cube. Should be a fun trip, full of surprises!!!
24th August 2009 Day Two
We found a Belgian Pub in Budapest. Go figure.
Budapest is a city on the cusp of of dilapidation... it must have been brilliant before wars tore it apart and Communism left it in disrepair. Grand buildings with boarded up windows are the norm but occasionally you see one of these giants in the throws of renovation. Kind of makes you wonder...
The "underground" is laughable when compared to London. Barely below the road... walk down less than 20 steps and you are at the tracks! Funny little musical tunes play to signify a stop or when the doors are closing!
26th August 2009 Day Four
On the night train to Prague... It is an adventure that we will look back on with find memories (Note: Maybe in 20 years!!!)
Learning about Hungary's experience during WWII and then under USSR occupation has been interesting. I have not made my mind up on how to feel. Hungary allied with Germany during WW2 in a effort to regain land last following WWI... All in all, Hungary suffered worse with Communism that with the Nazis! Walking around the city, I can not imagine what it must have been like during those years...
Notes about the Night Train
No dining car.... seriously?!? Can buy small items from guy in our car but we spent all out money at the station!
No A/C! It is hot but with the window down it is loud. Note to self: Should have brought ear plugs!
Window open = Stinky farm smells every 10 to 15 minutes!
Sleeper car does not mean that you will actually sleep!
Why does the train keep stopping?
Who's idea was this stupid night train thing??? Why did I agree to this???
Note from Florida Boy
I think the best part of any trip is the moment you realize it is over... when you have a chance to first remember. I really enjoyed this one. This is what we moved to London to do. And I am happy!
Culturally, not as different as I expected, though knowing the people there experienced a very different past. amazing how quickly a country can move forward. Though my favorite part was that thermal baths, probably the oldest part of the city, they just seemed like such a natural part of the city.
I will never forget the night train to Prague. What seemed like an uneventful trip turned in to much more: After the 4th stop in about 2 hours, I realized our plans of sleeping and saving money on hotels were out the open train window!