Budapest to Bucharest

Discussion in 'Travelogues / Trip Reports' started by PeeweeTM, Apr 8, 2015.

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  1. Apr 8, 2015 #1

    PeeweeTM

    PeeweeTM

    PeeweeTM

    Train Attendant

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Messages:
    54
    Pictures say more than a thousand words, some say, so you might want to check http://tinyurl.com/mdbdtcz. But if you're bored anyway, you may want to read the small report below.

    Exquize my English: I'm not a native speaker and I've studied German language a few years, meaning I have to try to part three languages. At a Maersk-company I worked some time ago, I switched between German and English in every conversation with my MD quite often as my knowledge of the used language ran out every now and then.

    Every year I take my son on a small holiday. Maybe because of his birthday, maybe because I like to travel. Any combination of the two could also apply.

    I've taken him with a Thalys-train from Rotterdam to Paris and back in one day, just to go up the Eiffel tower and get some French bread. (I'm not sure which he liked best and my wive was angry we took only half a bread back to Rotterdam. Well, she wasn't that happy to be left in Rotterdam, either...)

    We've been by plane via Vienna to Warsaw, Poland, to travel by train to Vilnius, Lithuania.

    On another trip we took a diesel-ICE train from Hamburg, Germany, to Copenhagen, Denmark, because that train also travels on a ferry. Also a nice experience.

    As my wive also likes to travel, we of course have visited already Berlin, Roma, Luxembourg and Bruxelles by train, but I wanted to visit some eastern European cities and countries, just because. My son likes it there, because of the open-window-trains (and open-door-trains as he has added after the here reported trip...).

    Well, my wive doesn't like those parts of Europe. But after being to Wolsztyn, Poland, about five-ish times to see, hear, smell and sometimes drive the steam-locomotives, I like at least some aspects of Eastern Europe. And after doing some 'easy' trips in some western parts of Europe, I just wanted to do another trip in another part of it.

    KLM had some not-to-expensive tickets from Amsterdam to Budapest, Hungary, and back from Bucharest, Romania, around 110 Euro per person per round-trip.

    Now, to travel from Bud to Buc, we could travel directly by night-train, or take a little detour via Belgrade, Serbia, and Sofia, Bulgaria. After giving my son the two options, he asked the only correct question: Which route involves more time on a train? He has all the good of the character of his mother, but luckily sometimes adds some of his one. (Before we had children, my wive (well, we're not actually married, but 'girlfriend' sounds a bit childish) and I took a day-trip from Berlin to Poznan, Poland. As I wanted to see some part of the old line to Kaliningrad, I planned a trip by local train (50-ish stops) on the way to Poznan and a EuoCity back (3-ish stops, about half of the travel-time). I can and will not describe the way the eyes of my wive lightened, when, at about stop 20-something she found out, we could have been in Poznan already, if we had taken an EC from Berlin to Poznan, too. Let's just say, the remainder of the trip to Poznan, there was a sulfur-like smell present.)

    Anyway, I'm not reporting that trip now.

    I internetted some information together (if you ever wish to travel by rail in Europe, go visit at least http://www.seat61.com/) and reserved the first ticket from Budapest to Beograd on the site of the Hungary national railway. And I booked hotels in the cities we wanted to visit. I usually book directly with a hotel, even if it costs a bit extra. Google Earth gives nice information about the locations. From Belgrade to Sofia to Bucharest no internet-ticketing available, but the mentioned site said not to worry, so I didn't.

    Well, a lot of typing and no meter traveled yet. Splendid. Planning and anticipation are fun, too, I guess.

    Usually we take a streetcar to the station, but even in the Rotterdam they don't run at 7 o'clock in the a.m. on Sunday. So an Afghan airplane mechanic took us in his taxi to the station.

    The IC-Direct / Fyra-replacement-train (if you ever want to read about Dutch guys not knowing how to order and accept a high-speed train and Italian guys not knowing how to build one, go Yahoo! on 'Fyra': boy, am I an happy taxpayer in this country...) was on time and took us with about 100 mph to the Schiphol airport. Now, passenger trains in the Netherlands normally run at about 80-85 mph, freight trains are timetabled at about 55-60 mph. We have an high-speed line from Belgium to Schiphol, where a train could travel at 185 mph, but, well, just Google 'Fyra' and you know why we had to pay a premium fare to travel behind a pimped multi-purpose electric locomotive at 100 mph in stead of in a fancy, really speedy train.

    On the positive side, in the Netherlands we know on which platform a train leaves months before its actual departure and we can sit just anywhere we like in the class (first or second) we've paid for.

    At Schiphol we had to undergo the usual investigation. I undergo a medical and psychological examination every couple of years, but only at airports they see right trough me. About two years ago in Fort Lauderdale they found a small knife in the hand baggage of my .5 son (from my wives first litter). It had been there at the airports of Schiphol and Heathrow, too. Really impressed about this airport safety checks.

    The flight itself was okay, luggage was available quite quickly and we bought a 24-hour Budapest travelcard for about 5,50 Euro. A bus was already loading passengers, so we hopped in, too. After a short ride, we changed to the underground and switched to another line to reach our first destination, the Golden Park Hotel. The room was ready, we left our luggage and stepped outside again.

    Now, if you take a map of Budapest, take the 'Pest' part and draw two circles of different sizes on it, you get roughly the trip we took by foot, streetcar and train in the afternoon. We say a lot of trespassing 2.0 on the tracks. In the Netherlands we have to report non-railway people to the dispatcher, police is called and all trains are ordered to slow down in the close vicinity of the sighting, until it is certain there are no people trespassing anymore.

    We slept okay and had a nice breakfast. As the seat-site above informed us about the non-presence of a diner car, we took a stroll to a local supermarklette and bought some lunchable items. At the station we entered our reservation number on the quik-trak-like contraption and it spit out the tickets we hoped for. We walked around the station a bit and shortly before departure the boarding platform was announced and, my Hungarian not being that good at all, luckily also published on an electronic board.

    We hopped in and found our reserved seats.

    In Europe, you either hop on a train and sit anywhere you like, or you can have a reserved seat, meaning you know the car and the seat. In most of the ICE-services in Germany you can even select your own seat according to availability with or without table, in a six-person or in a gro╬▓raum compartment et cetera, a bit airliner-stile. Well, sometimes you have to travel backward in Europe, but that happens sometimes in live if you want to get somewhere.

    A British-looking man occupies the row on the other side of the isle and I'm expecting to finish this report later this month, but hopefully before being on the TE from Joliet to LA on the 28th of this very month.

    Kind regards from Rotterdam,

    Peter
     
  2. Apr 8, 2015 #2

    PeeweeTM

    PeeweeTM

    PeeweeTM

    Train Attendant

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    54
    Oh, and if anybody could enlighten me on how to get the blank lines visible I see while working in OpenOffice, but which automagically disappear on the site, I would be very happy. My mobile phone publishes the text quit alright, but the laptop I misuse by putting it on top of a table, probably out of revenge, publishes on long slab of text.

    And I also seem to have a struggle going on with Edith...

    Peter
     
  3. Apr 8, 2015 #3

    Swadian Hardcore

    Swadian Hardcore

    Swadian Hardcore

    Conductor

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Streamliner, Reno, NV
    Nice pictures and scenery!
     
  4. Apr 8, 2015 #4

    oregon pioneer

    oregon pioneer

    oregon pioneer

    Conductor

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    Wow, very nice! Thank you for posting about such a nice trip. Nice pictures, too. I look forward to reading more later.

    (and I had no trouble with your English at all)
     
  5. Apr 9, 2015 #5

    caravanman

    caravanman

    caravanman

    Conductor

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Nottingham, England.
    Greetings, Peter.

    As you know, I was that British looking man.... Do I look British? Sophisticated, Attractive, Suave, Debonair? Or just a bit scruffy?

    (Your English is fine, and I understand the jokes too!)

    Have a great trip on the Texas Eagle too... Say "Hi" to Joliet Jake as you pass through... (Character from the Blues Brothers film.)

    Ed :cool:
     
  6. Apr 9, 2015 #6

    PeeweeTM

    PeeweeTM

    PeeweeTM

    Train Attendant

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Messages:
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    Thanks, all!

    And yes Ed, I've been to Wales two times, to do some track work with the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society. A lot of men and women I would describe as British. Welshmen and English chaps working together, isn't history a happy ending story... We should try to talk a bit longer and not on a stairway next time.

    Bye, Peter
     
  7. Apr 10, 2015 #7

    v v

    v

    v v

    Conductor AU Supporter

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    Very engrossing, you are a natural storyteller. Also look forward to the next instalment.
     
  8. Apr 11, 2015 #8

    bobnjulie

    bobnjulie

    bobnjulie

    Lead Service Attendant

    Joined:
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    California
    I laughed.... especially since I have been know to emit a sulfur-like smell. Unfortunately my husband has a lousy sense of smell ;) Great report and pictures! Eagerly awaiting Part 2. Thanks for sharing!
     

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