Unlike the journey from Zell Am See to Prague, this trip was a breath of fresh air. Our train departed at 09:42 and was destined to arrive 7 hours later at 16:35pm. We purchased e-tickets before embarking on our travels, setting us back by €42 (£30), a bargain when travelling across three countries. Unfortunately, after being seated on the train for no more than 3 minutes, we were whisked out our seats as they happened to be reserved. Unaware of the abundance of reserved seating, we headed for another carriage which luckily had a couple to spare!
The train passed through many a main city in Czech Republic, through the capital of Slovakia and into Budapest as the sun was beginning to set. The journey was rather relaxing despite the influx of passengers passing in and out of your chosen cabin. Towards the end we were left alone to complete the odd wordsearch and listen to music before disembarking.
The slow arrival into the city of Budapest brought to light the state of decay that the outskirts of the city had occupied. The run down facades, graffiti strewn architecture and abandoned buildings did not greet us with promising eyes nor a sense of safety. Unlike in Prague, our chosen hostel happened to be further away, a 35 minute walk to be exact, with no map or guidance as to where we were meant to be heading. Budapest Keleti station itself is a beautiful yet enormous sized eclectic building, daunting to any foreigner, even more so when you have to locate a map and navigate your way to your accommodation before the nightfall. Stepping out of the Keleti Station doors was where the journey truly begun, a memorable one to say the least.
Top tip: If travelling by train, whether at low season or high season, pay the extra few euros and reserve yourself a seat or you may be sitting on the floor for the seven hours!