Belgrade To Budapest

Budapest Travel Blog

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Belgrade To Budapest: 

What a day!! We all woke up around 07:00 and got ready to catch the
08:10 train to Budapest. It was the fastest of the three that we looked up
online. It was wake up early for that train, take one at 9:45 and get to
Budapest at 22:00 or take an overnight train. So the consensus was to take
the 08:10 train to Budapest, it was only a 7 hour ride.
We got out the door late because someone was dragging due to the fact
they jumped in the shower late.
So we got to the train station just in time to have an old man get in
line in front of us at the ticket window and hear something over the PA
system about a train departing. Well there went the 08:10 train.
So we asked about the next train; well they said the next one wasn’t
until the overnight train. I was so upset that we had missed the train
by a few minutes and that we were stuck in Belgrade until the overnight train,
and there was no day time bus either.
If our room that we had was available that night it would not have been too bad.
Belgrade is a very modern city; you would be hard pressed to distinguish it
with a modern Western European City.
So it was off to get some food and figure out what we were going to do.
After getting some food in us we decided to look into renting a car.
The idea of driving from Serbia to Hungary sounded a little scary but quite
the adventure all in one. While sitting in the warm café we spotted a few
other fellow backpackers. I started to talk with a few of them and found out
that a few of the ones in their group had missed the train to Budapest as well.
I told them about the car rental idea, and all of the sudden our band of backpackers
went from 4 people to 7;
We tired, We disheveled, We band of backpackers.

Now the mission was to find a car rental place and see how much it would
cost to get us to Budapest. After a few hours of searching the conclusion
was that it was going to be super expensive to rent a car and drive it
to Budapest. Ben our savior Canuck came through by finding a tour company
that would drive us to Budapest in a van. So we jumped at that and now we
had our means of transportation to Budapest. Colin, the two Canadians and I
went off to get the driver and van while the others stayed behind at the train
station. Along the way we passed a few buildings that had been struck
by some kind of missile; also along the way was the US Embassy. Later we
found out the buildings that were destroyed were the ones that the US hit in
the 90’s. We arrived at the travel agency and were treated to a nice warm
sitting room with coffee and juice. We sat in the leather couches
sipping our drinks and surfing the net while waiting for our driver.
Our fellow travelers stayed back because one had a big suitcase that had a broken
wheel on it so it took two of them to carry the thing around. After 45
minutes or so we were off to pick up the rest of the group which by then were
freezing waiting for us. The look of relief on their faces when we pulled up in
the van was worth a million dollars. Oh, but things can’t go that smooth
for us. One person was missing! The others said he would walk around every so
often looking to see if we were coming back. We ran around looking for him
for 20 minutes. The driver who’s name is Sasha got a call, turned to me and
asked. “What is the name of the person you are looking for?” I knew right
away what had happened. He had gone looking for us and ended up back at the
travel agency. What an idiot!! Not only that but he did not tell the others
what he was doing. So 40 minutes of travel time was wasted looking for him.
This person exemplified the prototypical “Stupid American” which he was
every bit of. The drive up to Budapest was crazy at times. We went through a
blizzard for a good portion if it. The highways out of Serbia are two lanes,
and the big trucks would drive on the shoulders in the oncoming traffic to
allow people to pass. So here we are passing cars in our lane where there
were no shoulder and having oncoming traffic on their shoulder. There was no
room for error! I can say the roads in Hungary are much better, looked like
we were back in the States. We also got more stamps for our passport.
While we were leaving Serbia the border guard asked one of our travelers where
they picked him up jokingly because he was Slovakian and the rest of us were
American, Canadian, and Australian. Colin and I were able to book a
hostel for Saturday through Tuesday night but we could not find one online for
Friday night. Once again our new friends from the travel agency came
through for us. They had a contact in Budapest that rents out apartments. So we
got this great apartment for two in the center of the city for 60 Euros.
The driver dropped off some of our group, and just like that we were back
to 4. We were dropped off at our apartment, ditched out bags and went out
looking for the hostel our friends had reservations for and some place to eat.
It was so cold outside, the wind cuts right through all our clothes! We
parted ways with one of the Canadians at the hostel and went out for food; down
to 3 now. After dinner I crashed; was too tired to go out, it was about
midnight anyways.
What a crazy day it was. Everything fell into place just the way we
needed it to and when we needed it to. Tomorrow the local here in Budapest I
know is going to take us out and show us the nightlife.

This is Judge saying Jo ejszakat (good night in Hungarian) from
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photo by: Chokk