7.12.11

Euro Rail Adventure #1

Vienna, Austria - in the middle of the Holidays - it was one of my dreams, and it was a dream about to come to life!  

Since we had a ride to Budapest, Chris and I decided to hop on the Euro Rail bound for Vienna. Ten years ago, my mom and I had gallivanted around Europe utilizing the Euro Rail as our main mode of transportation. It all seemed so effortless, but then again, I was just following Mom's lead. She was the one checking train schedules, dishing out the cash, wading through language barriers, booking hotels, haggling with greedy taxi drivers, and constantly trying to make the last connecting train. She was in charge, and I was just along for the ride. This time around, Chris and I were in charge of our own adventure. 

We purchased really cheap round trip tickets from Budapest to Vienna, and boarded the train. 

My favorite travel partner - checking for our non-existent seat assignments. 
From what we could tell, there were no "normal-train-seating-type-cars"; every car we passed was a sleeper or private car. So we just picked one. We boarded about 20 minutes before departure, and the car was already packed full. Chris walked the length of the car, and there was only one room with two free seats. We opened the door and greeted our four new travel buddies. Aughhhh, a comfortable seat to call "home" for the three hour trip to Vienna. As we pulled out home made sandwiches and good reading material, I hardly noticed people standing around in the hallway outside of our secluded room. Chris (forever the observant one in our marriage) pulled out his ticket and got all fidgety and anxious. 

"Lana, everyone is looking at that placard on the outside of our door. I cannot see what it says from here, but do you think I should get up and see if maybe our seats are reserved for someone else? I don't see anything on our tickets that says we have to sit anywhere specific. . . . Should I go look?"

"Ohhhh, honey, we are sitting. Don't worry about that silly little placard; read your zombie book and enjoy the ride! Vienna here we come!"

Happy to go to Vienna!
The train pulled out of the station, and Chris let out a little sigh of relief. His book appeared and as he was about to bite into his sandwich, our glass door slid open. 

I should always listen to Chris. He is (almost) always right, and our first Euro Rail adventure was no exception. 

An older couple walked in and produced tickets for our seat numbers. We were completely caught off guard. No one even gave us the option of reserving seats. Do you have to reserve a seat on these trains? Maybe the ticket lady just forgot to give us our seat assignments. Where else were we supposed to go?! We calmly went back and forth with the couple trying to figure out why we did not have seats. In the end, we WERE in their seats, and we were somehow left "seatless." Sadly, we vacated our little glassed in room and tried to find an empty space in the already full hallway. 

Thrown out into the hallway. 
At least we were traveling lite. 
And there were seats built into the wall. It could have been much worse. 
The trip was not nearly as comfortable as it could have been, but really, what are you going to do besides laugh. It was pretty funny having to get up every time someone walked the hallway, rubbing bellies with the heavy train conductor, and enviously watching the sleeping girl who was taking up one seat for her booty and one for her feet. Next time I will listen to Chris when his inquisitive side wants to clarify every little detail. We needed just a little bit of clarity on this trip.

We definitely learned what to ask on our return trip,
and after all, isn't life all about the journey and what you learn along the way??


Three long hours later, we arrived in Vienna. The train station is just beautiful and it was simply a pre cursor to what awaited us in the magical city. 

Ohhh, and there is a MAC store in the train station. I instantly knew that I would love this city.