A Nap and Some Goulash
Budapest Travel Blog› entry 10 of 22 › view all entries
The train from Venice to Budapest travels through Slovenia and Croatia on it's way to Hungary. Italy, Slovenia and Hungary have all signed the Schengen Agreement, which does away with the border controlls between member countries, but Croatia hasn't. That wouldn't be a big problem if you're on a train through the day, but if you're traveling through Croatia in the middle of the night, then it can be a bit of a pain...
So at about 2 in the morning, I got this curt knocking on the window of my compartment, bringing me out of a not so deep sleep. I sleepily fumbled around for my passport, unlocked the door and slid it open, then handed over my passport to the stern looking Slovenian customs agent. With passport stamped, I tried to get back to sleep, but half an hour later, I had to go through the same process with the Croation official.
A few hours of broken sleep later, the Croation official is knocking at my window again, so it must be time for the Croation/Hungarian border crossing. The Hungarian official followed him, just when it was starting to get light, urgh. After he departed, I managed to get a few more hours sleep, but woke up at about 8 and gave up for the night.
The train passed some very beatiful Hungarian scenery, including a very long lake (Lake Balaton I think), which we must have traveled alongside for over an hour.
After a very long night, the train pulled into Budapest at around 11am. After ignoring the taxi and accomodation touts at the station, I made my way to the Adagio hostel, which was a 10 minute walk away, or a bit longer if you're dragging a heavy bag behind you. I had a bit of trouble finding the hostel, but after being told to cross the road (silly me), I finally found it. The hostel was quite nice and seemed quite new, which was a massive improvement over the last one in Venice, especially as it only cost 6-7 euros a night. I updated Facebook and decided to have a bit of a nap, but woke up about 4 hours later!
Not to waste the day, I got myself together, had a shower and changed, then headed out into Budapest at around 8pm. I walked up Erzsebet Korut, which is the street my hostel is on, just seeing what I could see and looking for some food. After finding the other Budapest train station and a shiny new shopping center, as well as some pretty nice architecture, I headed back towards the hostel on the lookout for somewhere which might serve some Hungarian food. I found a nice nice little restaurant lined square and chose a place serving goulash! After hungrily gobbling it down, I decided to call it a night and head back to the hostel and bed.