We woke up at around 6:40am, which gave us a little extra time to stop by the post office and grab breakfast before our train. We fed some of the indoor pigeons with some bits of bread, and what started as two birds quickly became about eight. We found our train and boarded it with plenty of time, and prepared for what was supposed to be a ten hour train ride.
The scenery wasn’t quite as beautiful as the ride from Bucharest to Brashov, but it was still enjoyable. For a good portion of the day we rode along the banks of a river (the river Somesh, I think) which helped pass the time. Here’s a scenic view from the train that day, though I can’t recall exactly where it was from:
As we progressed through Romania, both Desi and I grew bored. I think we each tried to sleep a little, and passed the time with word games. Desi also took some time to start drawing, and this is what she came up with:
I absolutely love it, and she continued to create wonderful sketches on other trains later in our travels. I’ll post them later for sure 🙂
So roughly when our train was supposed to arrive at its destination, it was clear that we were still in Romania. At some point after we were long overdue to arrive we asked one of the people working on the train, and we were to arrive at 9:30, which was three hours later than expected. Hmm.Well, we could do nothing but wait, and try to pass the time with more games and talking. While there was too much time sitting in one place this day, I feel I got to know Desi a little better so the time was very well spent 🙂 Here is a photo that I took shortly before our arrival in Budapest. As you can see, the daylight had already faded away:
After we arrived, there was still work to be done that day. We needed to exchange money, find a place to stay, and book a train for tomorrow to travel further west to Vienna.
None of that happened. Everything was closed, even in the main train station. Exchange places, hotel bookings, and ticket booths were all abandoned for the evening. Thankfully, one of the passengers from the train who we had talked to previously was willing to exchange us enough money to take the metro (subway) to the city center where we could find a place to stay and eat.
We finally found a place to stay (and paid more than expected for it), and the receptionist recommended us a place to eat a block a way. We were quite hungry so we set off right away… and couldn’t find the place. After enlisting the help of passerby, we found out why – it was hard to see because all the lights were off and they had closed for the night too. Just our luck! Its the city center of Budapest, a city I am told is famous for its food so we walk around to try and find a place to eat. Again, almost everything was closed. We found one pub that was open, but they didn’t serve food. Our final resort was to stop at a convenience store to find something to eat. Well.. the vegetables were nearly rotting off the shelf and we couldn’t find the ingredients for sandwiches. We decided on ready-made sandwich big enough for the both of us and some green apples that must have been irradiated because they were still perfect on the shelf.
Back at the hotel, we opened the sandwich to find it inedible. Their expiry dates are clearly much more liberal than they are here in Canada. The apples would be a start, and we ate some of the beef jerky that mom left with us on the day we left Toronto. By no means a complete meal, but it would tide us over for a feast the following day.