This wrap up may make me feel sadder than actual end to Eurotrip 2013. Writing the blog and reliving those moments allows me to truly appreciate everything that we were able to experience. Sitting here in Buenos Aires right now makes me miss the endless variety of food items either in the grocery store or markets all readily available. I think my head and my heart live in Europe and when I am not there I totally miss it.
All train trips were booked in advance though Czech Transport and the tickets were mailed to my travel partner in crime parents in the Netherlands.
Train Experience: I love trains, love the experience it affords, love that it is a different more leisurely but efficient way of getting from one place to another while still seeing the ground covered. Before taking the night train to Prague I was more excited then children on Christmas morning. This trip had some not such steeped in fantasy train moments but others moments that could have been directly out of the train fantasy movies that play in my head.
The overnight train from Amsterdam to Prague (approx. €408 for 2 in a 2 person cabin) started just as idyllic as I could imagine. Look at that happy smiling proud of myself face as we settle into the small sleeper cabin.
A picnic with fresh fruit, honey goat cheese, fig jam, hummus, freshly made baguettes and champagne….I know you are thinking heaven right. It was just like I thought it should be. Train Fantasy fulfilled.
Not so fast…bunk beds, shared toilet, and 5 hour late arrival into Prague is only busting my train bubble here. Though I do not expect everything to go smooth a few little glitches no problem just need to pay better attention when booking overnight trains from now on. And look at the view as the land rolls by.
Train from Prague to Bratislava (approx. €92 for 2 person in a 1st class car with advance seat reservations) now known as “the ride around the rim of hell”. You know I couldn’t totally wrap up vacation without one last story. Picture this a small carriage 6 small seats for 4 people perfect right you have a bit of extra room. So it is first class and bookable by reservation only (4 people/car) so far so good until you find out they over book the train. First we were joined by a Chilean couple who were spending a year traveling Europe and they were very upset to know we would not take our bags down to accommodate the fact that they had 4 large bags. Plenty of room for your one bag above and one bag wherever which is what we did one bag each above and our backpacks between our legs; now the fact that you have 2 large suitcases apiece as well as a backpack not so much my problem. Also, my charming Chilean train riding companions dealing with rejection should not be so hard for you and you probably shouldn’t assume that the red headed North American girl sitting beside you cannot understand Spanish. Though some of the things you said made me laugh out loud just because I was embarrassed for your ignorance. Wouldn’t that be great if the story ended here?…no it wouldn’t cause that would not make for any amusement on the trip. Next thing I know the conductor is entering saying the train is overbooked and they need us to share our reserved carriage with others: a family of Argentines to be exact two seats 6 people not sure how that is suppose to work out did I mention all their bags seriously bags.
So 10 people in a small carriage next things next the air conditioning goes out and the window does not open can you say train carriage sauna. Seriously I couldn’t make this up if I tried even with my imagination. The only thing that would make this more funny or sad would have been two screaming babies in the seat next to me. But I did get an equivalent experience at this time the Argentines and Chileans decided to discuss who had the most important job, the most money and who had had the most impressive travel experiences between them all; somewhat akin to my dad is better than yours in US preschools. Awesome too bad the fun needed to end 2 hours too late. I think as we bid them goodbye and nice travels in Spanish as we left the car the look on their faces made the excursion overall a bit more enjoyable.
Train from Bratislava to Budapest (approx. €80 for 2 person in a first class car with advanced seat reservations). Modern, comfortable, not overbooked, uneventful and a bit of train fantasy is being restored. Best of all air conditioning works perfectly.
Adria Air: Slovenian national airline for travel back to Amsterdam. Flawless experience left on time, great flight crew and the most fantastic airport lounge I have encountered…in a tiny very tiny airport. Living in Slovenia could actually become a reality my one fear was getting in and out of the country to an international terminal to be able to travel as needed for work. That appears to not be a problem as a matter of fact this is a huge positive.
Eurotrip 2013 was 21 days of fabulous travel from Amsterdam to Prague to Bratislava to Budapest and finishing with every square inch/centimeter of Slovenia (additionally a short detour into Italy and Croatia) was beyond my expectations amazing. I saw beautiful historic sites, marveled at nature and wandered aimlessly/got lost throughout 7 countries. I met such warm, welcoming and wonderful people whom I am happy to now call friends. I consumed more calories than can be possible without weighing 2 tons and over indulged in a plethora of adult happy spirits and the only regrets I have is that I don’t have any leftovers. In my world you can never go wrong with slow cooked meat covered in a rich sauce of any type, potatoes in any variety or cooking style and bread several varieties per meal preferred. I found pastry heaven exists in every country, which only makes me more excited to visit new countries in search of local yummy goodness heaven on a plate. I have been repeatedly told by a special someone, that a meal isn’t a meal without dessert I think perhaps I am buying into that philosophy now or maybe just openingly and freely admitting it.
Next stop 10 days in Argentina with the dads…..Tourist in my own country