A Travellerspoint blog

Train travel and beautiful Budapest

Up nice and early to catch the 7.20am train to Budapest. Gave us plenty of time to exercise. have breakfast and pack. It was another got night where we slept on top of the sheets.

Went down the 5 flights to the street and one thing I love about Europe is that right next door is a 24 hour pastry shop!! We loaded up with food for the journey – a ham roll each, a massive slice of warm meat pastry ,another long filo pastry looking thing and we still had change our of our 550 dinar. I gave my change to the lady and pointed out that I wanted an assortment of little cake sweets that were priced according to weight so I got a bag full of them as well!!. We managed to offload all of our Serbian money.

We arrived at the station at 7am with plenty of time and our train looks pretty decent . Oh well here's to a day of reading my book and just one border control check at the Hungarian border Slept a lot as we passed fields of corn and wheat dotted with poppies growing wild along the sides of the track. Little villages with racks of corn drying, many that looked very poor with buildings very run down. The train stations were also very run down. No wonder this trip takes over 8 hours – the train never gets faster than 40 - 60 km an hour !

We stopped the Serbian side of the border for about 40 minutes as immigration police came through the train. The train went a short distance and stopped the Hungarian side of the border at 12.30pm as immigration came through and stamped our passport and the followed by customs with a sniffer dog Some people needed to open their bags for inspection but they weren’t even interested in us. One official came through with a ladder and unscrewed a roof opening and checked up in the train ceiling looking for hiding people I guess.

The station in Hungary this happened at looked totally different from the Serbian ones and had no graffiti and looked way more maintained.

Arrived 3.50pm at the main station - Kelati Station which was in a beautiful big old hangar style building with a stunning half dome photo. First stop was to find a toilet where I paid 50 E as I didn't yet have any florinth and got pointed to some toilet paper . Then to money changer where I changed 50 E into 12,500 florints. Then to ticket office to find oath times and cost of trains t Bratislava on Saturday - 19 E and lots of them. Then to another ticket office down underground in the modern metro area where the staff speak english . I told them where I was staying and bought a ticket for 300 florint to go 3 stops to Deak Terac Station.

We arrived at Deak Terac Station and had to laugh at how fast the metro escalators went and spat you off at the end. So glad Mum didn't fall off in a heap!

We came up and were in the middle of a busy restaurant /shopping district on the Pesto side of the Danube River. Right there was a mobile info booth where they speak english ( very helpful!!!) and they pointed out which of the 3 streets in front of us was ours. We ended up walking past our hostel and had to back track and arrived by 5pm.

We were buzzed in a big door into an empty courtyard and climbed up to the 2nd floor ( discovered the REALLY old lift later) and checked in . Mum used the lifts as we came and went but it was so small and creaky that I preferred to walk! The hostel is all on the 2nd floor and is very modern with a big kitchen and common areas. Cost me 12 E a night and we were in a 4 bed room with abig window overlooking a residential courtyard and surrounding apartments.

Some info : Budapest is known as the "Pearl of the Danube" and is made up of 3 distinct towns Obuda and Buda - the historic medieval city on Castle Hill and Pest the administrative and commercial city on the east. In 1873 the 3 towns merged. It now has a population over 2 million.

The heart of Budapest around Castle Hill is beautiful despite suffering many times from invasions by Celts, Romans, Huns, Ottomans and Austrians. In WW2, the city was partly destroyed by allied air raids, and defending German and Hungarian troops caused major damage.

We left at 6pm to wander around and made our way to the Danube River. This city is gorgeous , and bustling. The architecture is beautiful and when yo get to the river it's WOW...... looking over to the hilly Buda side of town with the big palace /fortress on the hill.

Black storm clouds were looming and we did eventually get rain for about 15 minutes. We walked along the riverfront past lovely bronze sculptures and across the stunning old Chain Bridge with its imposing lions guarding the entry either side. I of course had to make my way to the highest point and left Mum having a beer while I found some steps to the top. The view was stunning over to the hundreds of spires on the Parliament building to well laid out gardens below. We wandered around the Pest side again before grabbing fresh bread, tomatoes and eggs from our next door supermarket for a simple dinner back at the hostel. Dinner cost 800 florint - $4 AUD for both of us !!!!

Mum on another long train trip

Mum on another long train trip


Run down Belgrade station

Run down Belgrade station


Belgrade station

Belgrade station


Belgrade station

Belgrade station


Run down Serbian station

Run down Serbian station


We got double the amount of yummy treats or $1.50

We got double the amount of yummy treats or $1.50


Near Serbian border

Near Serbian border


Budapest station

Budapest station


Budapest station

Budapest station


Beautiful buildings

Beautiful buildings


Buda Fortress and impending rain

Buda Fortress and impending rain


Buda Fortress

Buda Fortress


Buildings and gardens

Buildings and gardens


Storm  clouds over the lions of Chain Bridge

Storm clouds over the lions of Chain Bridge


Mum walking over Chain Bridge

Mum walking over Chain Bridge


Lions and Royal Palace

Lions and Royal Palace


View from palace

View from palace


Chain Bridge

Chain Bridge


Chain Bridge

Chain Bridge


Road tunnel and funicular

Road tunnel and funicular


Palace

Palace


Boats on the Danube

Boats on the Danube

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Hungary

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