Bucharest Blockage - 8th May 2008 @ 8:17 am «   »

Location: Bulgaria, Romania : Bucharest Blockage

Best laid plans.. well, we never made it to Brasov yesterday as we had hoped after all. After having breakfast in Velico, we got a short taxi to the train station and were 30mins early for the 11:10 train to Bucharest.

We soon heard that the train was delayed and that it would only arrive at noon. Noon came and went and we eventually left at 12:30-ish. The train got to the next station fairly swiftly (about 8km further), but then stopped for what turned out to be a total of almost 4 hours. At this stage we began to doubt the possibility of going through to Brasov, but still had hope..

Turned out that we had been standing there without a engine and were waiting for a replacement the whole time. We got moving from there at about 16:00 and immediately the ticket inspectors came around to do the usual checks. We had been sitting (feet up) in the compartment by ourselves watching a movie when they came in shouting about the ‘damage’ we were causing to the seats..

They insisted we paid a ‘shtraf’ fine of what we could make out to be ~ 16 euro each. In addition they also started runting about the fact that we had only our inter-rail passes but no seat reservations (dispite the fact that we were 2 of about 7 people on the entire carriage!) and demanded more money.

Needless to say we just acted dumb and told them we had no money on us, while Marizanne was frantically wiping the dust marks off the already-filthy seats. After a few minutes they realised they weren’t getting what they wanted and then just suddenly left, never to be seen again.. Both our train-trips into, and out of Bulgaria have turned out to be relatively unique experiences.

After all this fun we were still about 100 km from the border and more waiting followed while we cantered through the countryside.

We arrived at the border crossing at about 20:00 and waited some more.. and so on..

Long story short, we finally pulled into Bucharest station at 22:30 – the original arrival time being 17:09. We travelled less than 200km yesterday in a total of 10 hours – a day well spent :)

More dramas ensued as we walked the streets of Bucharest searching for our chosen hostel (trusting the Lonenly Planet’s splendid map-work) until we gave up and took a taxi 4 blocks further, finally arriving at 00:30 at the Butterfly Villa Hostel.

We’re aiming to get the 13:00 train from Bucharest to Brasov (2 hour trip), and hope to get there before tomorrow..

The Lonely Planet has really been our Bible on this trip, but it has to be said that some of the maps tend to leave one in the lurch when you most need it.

PS: Juan & Marli, thanks again for the European LP, it has carried us well through Western Europe.

PPS: Nilf & Feebil, thanks again for the cereal bars, the last two saved us during our long train trip yesterday.

IMG_5141
We met Corina (from Cluj Napoca in Romania) in the McDonald’s at the Bucharest train station. She had just arrived back from a trip to Egypt and had plenty of stories to share. Corina is also aiming to go to Oz at some point, so we might meet up again then!

6 Responses to “Bucharest Blockage”  
Morne, Leanne and Ethan Says:

Hey guys, hectic train ride, but what an experience hey. I bet you can look back now and laugh already.
Lekker hot here in London today, 24 degrees and lets hope it stays that way now. You guys are doing so well on your trip and we are loving hearing all your adventures.

Take care

Mamma van PE Says:

ag shame, man. Dis nou een treinrit wat nie so goed uitgewerk het nie. Maar dis ook sulkes wat die trip interessant maak. Ek sou my koud geskrik het. Vir een of ander rede het ek nie vandag(Sat) rolbal gaan speel nie, en ook nie Dond nie! Dinsd heeldag op Kirkwood gespeel. Kan jy glo Oom Erik, Eben se broer en sy vrou speel ook,en hy’s nou mal daaroor. Heelweek Plnksterdienste gehad. Rethie het dit baie goeg gedoen. Gisteraand ‘n heerlike Pinksterete gehad met alles op die spyskaart so eg Bybels.Almal kon ook so aantrek. Ek het ‘n kaftan met stola om die kop en lang dangling goue oorbelle ,en leer plat sandale,heel in die gees vd tyd gevoel!
Weet nie wanneer hd email gestuur gaan word nie, want hy sny elke paar sekondes af!!
As “moeder” sal ek in liefde aan al 4 my kinders dink,more.Ekweet julle sal ook aan ons dink en dalk ‘n bietjie verlang! Liefdetjiesxxxxxxxx

jan Says:

Ja Morne, we were laughing straight afterwards – a real dogshow! London sounds great, we can hardly remember it like that.
Thanks Moeder for all the news updates :)

Juan en Marli Says:

Hey daar die traveling Wilburys – Ek moet sê dat ek omtrent elke derde dag jul blog lees en fotos kyk, maar het nog nie op jul blog geskryf nie, so het gedink dat dit omtrent tyd is.

Dit klink of julle ñ fantastiese tyd het met die trippie, ons is bly dat die Lonely Planet gids goed te pas gekom het in Wes Europa.

Alles is omtrent terug na normaal, na die troue en honeymoon. Ons het Malasia verskriklik geniet. Dis jammer dat jul nie op facebook is nie, want baie van ons fotos het ons daar gepos vir vriende om na te kyk.

Jan, baie nice fotos wat jy neem! Ek sien die 40D werk hard!

Op die werks front gaan hier baie aan, julle weet mos dat ons ook in Australia wil wees binne die volgende paar jaar, nou ja, ek het ñ werks geleentheid gekry om in Doha, Qatar te gaan werk, vir ñ bank. Hulle het my oorgevlieg vir onderhoude en ek het die werk gekry. Ons het die aanbod en kontrak twee dae terug ontvang en dink ek gaan dit vat. Salarisse is belasting vry, so ek en Marli het besluit dat dit ñ goeie stepping stone vir Oz sal wees. Hulle is besig om my werk visa uit te reik, en dan sal ek alleen oorgaan vir ñ maand of twee om my voete te vind, en as ek besluit ek wil daar bly, vir Marli laat weet om te bedank en oor te kom. So, dis glad nie beplan nie, maar seker hoe ons gebede verhoor is oop ñ manier.

Anyways – hoop dit gaan goed met julle twee.
Groetnis
Juan en Marli
xxx

jan Says:

Wow – dit klink insane! Baie geluk met die job Juan! Wel, dis definitief nie London nie, maar ek dink dis ‘n baie goeie geleentheid. Good luck met die besluite, hulle gaan nie maklik wees nie..
Ja-nee, jy weet mos ons is bietjie facebook-sku, nie 100% seker hoekom nie, maar nou-ja. Miskien moet ek en jy ons eie version skryf, sal verseker baie beter wees ;)
Ek het reeds net meer as 4,000 fotos geneem, waarvan daar so 900 op flickr nou al is – daai 70-200 is great.
Bly om te hoor dit gaan goed, chat een van die dae.

Corina Says:

Hello Jan and Marizanne ! You are doing a great job with this website , I spent a lot of time just looking at pictures, or reading your trip diary ! Thank you for the photo ! I’m glad we met that evening, at McDonald’s.
Have a safe trip, and enjoy each moment of it !