Monday, August 25, 2008

Train Traffic Boogey

Day: 334 and 335
Budapest to Zagreb, Croatia
Time: All Day
Distance: A lot of train kilometers
Avg Speed: Stop and Go

We left the cocoon of our little Budapest apartment and headed out into the great big city. After spending a few days getting our bearings among the streets and buildings, riding our bikes in them was pretty easy. We went and checked out some more sites that our bus tour earlier only touched on. We went and spent some time at the Fishermen’s Bastion and the Castle Hill area. Both areas are in the Buda side of the city on Buda Hill. We checked out the cobbled streets and cafés before dropping over the hill and to the Deli Train Station. I was a little worried when we arrived and saw 500 people dressed as Pokemon characters chanting in a square nearby. The worrying was for naught and after hauling our bikes upstairs to the platforms I went to double check on the time of our train. I am glad I did, because instead of a 1:45 departure time it was a 12:55 departure time. We quickly got our act together and got on the train. We had planned to buy a little food at the station before getting on the train, but with our accelerated schedule the food lost out. Luckily we had a few packages of crackers to tide us over for the five hour jaunt. After arriving at the station where we were to make a train switch I went and got a few sandwiches to tide us over until Zagreb. The earlier train meant we had a longer wait, but it allowed us to get a plan for the next train. The trains in Hungary don’t have a lot of attendants, don’t announce trains in advance and aren’t very well signed. All of this almost made us miss our train because we couldn’t find the baggage car or an attendant to ask if this was the train to Zagreb. We quickly chucked our bikes in the barn doors and found a private coach to sit in. We decided that we would sit there until they kicked us out. The lack of people or help is a two way street because we had our private section all the way in to Zagreb. After arriving in Zagreb at 9:30 I grabbed every light we had to give us a little bling for our ride to the hotel. We found the place quite easily and quickly ate the rest of our crackers for dinner and settled in for a little shut-eye.
This morning we woke up famished and cruised on down to the breakfast buffet. I am sure the restaurant staff loved to watch us go back again and again for food. We like to eat big breakfasts when they are included in the room price. We were also making up for yesterday and trying to eat enough that we wouldn’t have to have any size of a lunch. After breakfast we headed into the downtown square area for a little map shopping, a haircut and some sightseeing. I found a salon for my haircut and before I could tell her what I wanted I was a getting my hair washed. After the haircut she washed my hair again and blew dry my fresh buzz cut. Leslie just loved seeing me get a hair dry on what I have left for hair. After that we shop hopped around putting together enough maps to get us where we needed to go. Armed with maps and knowing that we had some stinky clothes back at the hotel, we grabbed some laundry soap and Leslie started working on her forearms. I ran out to mail some post cards and a package home and missed most of the washing game. I did help out wringing and hanging, but the majority was done by Leslie. That flurry of activity did us in for the day and we spent the rest of the day hanging out and rotating laundry.
Tomorrow we try and figure out how to get out of Zagreb and start working our way south.

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