On the Train

Trip Start Feb 25, 2005
Trip End Jun 22, 2006

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Flag of Bulgaria  ,
Tuesday, May 2, 2006

2nd May
What is it with us and post offices. We waited 45 minutes for them to finally be told that they only sell small boxes. Typical. A post office that doesn't sell anything that allows you to send anything. We decided that we were not going to waste a day like we did in Istanbul so we decided to just eat crepes and drink coffee instead. Definitely more enjoyable. We had to get on a train to Budapest, the longest train journey we have to take. We have paid extra to ensure that we have a bed for the two nights we are to spend on the train.

3rd May
We had a pretty enjoyable sleep between rude knocks throughout the night by the border patrols of Greece, Macedonia and Bulgaria. We settled in for what we thought would be another long day and night just eating, drinking and playing cards. We were just about to settle in for the afternoon nap at about 5pm when we were stopped at the Romanian border. We calmly handed over our passports again. He asked if we were Australian, to which we agreed, and then he walked off with our passports. After some time and worry our fears were confirmed. "Bad news Ya! you no visa, you get off train now!". We were escorted off the train by two armed guards and loaded into a police van. We understood that we were going back to Bulgaria but no one was really talking to us. As we were taken back through the dirty street of the border town in Romania, we were silent as the Bulgarian town of Ruse beckoned us. They literally unloaded us for the van at the border and sped off. The Bulgarians looked really pissed off as they handed us back our passports and gave us a rude hand pointing gesture towards a power plant. When we asked which way to town, we got a hand gesture pointing "that way" which appeared to be pointing nowhere.

Dazed, we walked in no particular direction and the area looked like a rural industrial area. The only thing recognisable was a petrol station and they spoke little English and helped us out. We indicated that we needed money and a way into town. The place next door had a crude ATM but we didn't care. After some speedy money withdrawal, the petrol station man called us a cab and we gave him some money for his troubles. The taxi man and the petrol station attendant spoke for a while and we could only make out town names. Luckily the taxi driver took us directly to a bus station. The taxi man also booked our really cheap tickets (what a life saver), and four hours later we were sleeping on a bus to Sofia. 
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