Train to the East – Romania

Onward and forward to Sibiu, Romania. We took our first night train of the trip, which was rather interesting. We took the train from Budapest, Hungary, to Sibiu. As you would have heard, Budapest has had a large influx of Syrian refugees. The train station in Budapest looked like a makeshift camp full of refugees.

Because the migrants were heading west, and we were going east, we were able to get a train ticket without too much trouble. When we left, we found what looked like the right train, but the train number inside was different from our ticket. To be sure it was the right train, I found a train worker in uniform, but who looked off shift. I showed him my ticket, and communicated via charades if this was the right train. The fellow looked at my ticket, looked at me, and said, “Sorry, I don’t know where I am.” So the journey began!

The train was about 11 hours long. Mike and I got second class tickets (without sleepers), and Jon got first class with a bed. I’m guessing that I got 3 hours of sleep in all! There’s a long story as to why we bought the tickets at different times, which would likely be a post unto itself – so I won’t go into details as to why. In any case, Jon had to hang out in 2nd class as Mike and I were forbidden from entering the nicer car.

On the train we met some Scout leaders from Germany who were planning a trek in the Romanian mountains. They were very well prepared and had all kinds of equipment imaginable. However, their leader didn’t check the expiry date on his citizenship card. We arrived at the Romanian border around midnight, so our new friend was escorted off the train to be sent back to Hungary. For my fellow travellers, this is a good reminder to always check your passport or ID card before you leave!

Our train ticket had the estimated arrival time, so we knew roughly when we’d arrive. However, it was dark and we were unable to see any of the train station signs. Considering my luck with asking the crew for assistance, we decided to hop off the train and hope for the best!

All worked out well, as the station was indeed Sibiu! Our Romanian adventure was about to begin!

Cheers,

Shawn

P.S. I didn’t plan to write a post solely on the train ride – so I don’t have any good pictures to add in this post. I’ll be adding some posts about our time in Romania in the next few days, and I promise there will be photos. Until then!

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