Trip Start May 07, 2012
20Trip End Jun 06, 2012
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Interesting arrival at Budapest Keleti Station. Doors opened and we were greeted by a number of swarthy gentlemen all offering us taxis, accommodation, currency exchange etc before we even stepped down to the platform. Had to push through them and then encountered several more undesirables en route to leaving the station. Shame about these dodgy characters around because the station is wonderfully structured and has a real atmosphere with shops and stalls selling food and drink and with trains departing and arriving from all corners of Europe. Checked-in another decent hotel 50 yards from the station
Two reasons for going to Budapest (for just one night). Firstly to break up the Bratislava-Belgrade journey and secondly because we enjoyed it so much when we visited a few years ago. Popped into our favourite bar for a couple early doors and watched Slovakia beat the Czech Republic at Ice Hockey on TV. Bratislava will be rocking tonight. Then off to our favourite Budapest restaurant Aranyszarvas which didn’t disappoint. The even better news (for John) is that they served dinner at good speed and in time for us to watch the second half of the Champions League final in a bar nearby. End to end excitement, nail biting stuff but a great finish to a good evening.
The alarm arrived far earlier than we really wanted to wake us up on the morning of our 12th Anniversary which we were going to spend most of on an 8 hour journey from Budapest to Belgrade in a three carriage train with no refreshments available. Straight down to Spar to stock up for the journey and then bought a couple of Langos for elevenses (delicious Hungarian donuty flat breads spread with sour cream and cheese – again as featured on the ‘Hairy Bikers’). Boarded the train for a 9am departure and found quite a few others in first-class, however once the ticket inspector had completed his first round of checking tickets only myself and Janet were left in first-class and we had a compartment to ourselves. Cracking weather outside - not a cloud in the sky.
Interesting, comfortable journey over very flat scenery
Once we’re across the border it’s quite apparent that Serbia is a bit of a mess. Empty and ruined buildings and factories everywhere and loads of graffiti. Quite a shock compared to everywhere we’ve been so far. Also our peace, calm and empty compartment all changes at Novi Sad (Serbia’s second City) as the platform is mobbed and the train full for the last 2 hours into Belgrade. We have pulled into Belgrade Station on time and hope for the best…….