Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Searching for blue skies

I'm very confused this evening...  my blogspot account will only show me instructions in Hungarian and I can't find any option to switch back to English!  As I have been known to design the odd bit of software myself, I generally expect to be able to find such things with enough clicking but alas...

When planning this first part of my journey, I generally assumed that the sun would appear wherever I chose to go but apparently this is not the case.  Day one felt somewhat surreal.  Having planned and planned, I suddenly felt unprepared and in a daze and the rubbish weather didn't help.  Fortunately I checked in for my Eurostar to Brussels with one minute to spare and so no sooner had I bought the paper and boarded the train, we were off.  I'm sure that on a sunny day Brussels is a lovely place but yesterday it was dismal and very cold (and museums close on Mondays).  With several hours to while away, I sought out the local arty cinema and saw Shahada which, while excellent, was quite dark and at times had me feeling that I was still watching Black Swan.

The German railway system later managed to demonstrate the extremes of slowness/efficiency.  The Brussels to Koln train was diverted due to an incident on the track (it doesn't just happen in the UK after all!) and so I arrived too late for my overnight train to Vienna.  However, I was then able to wait an hour, take a fast train to Frankfurt and then wait for my original train to reach Frankfurt...  Running such an inefficient and circuitous route saved me quite a lot of bother and I was able to bed down pretty comfortably for the night and be woken just before eight by the conductor with coffee and a bread roll.

After a nice chat with a German medical research student considering a move to London, the train arrived in Vienna and as everything was still grey and drab and I determined to push on straight through to Budapest.  The Railjet trains can be highly recommended and by early afternoon I was luxuriating in a shower and there were blue skies outside - hurrah!

Budapest seems like a wonderful place with amazing architecture.  I will have more time to explore tomorrow before my overnight train to Bucharest.

Two priorities for the coming week:
1. As predicted, I am carrying far too much stuff and so will be planning to package some stuff up in Istanbul and send it back to the UK.  Maybe some could go poste restante to Amman or Nairobi..

2. I may have a colour scheme for my clothes but I have lost all sense of style..  This is probably one to solve next week.  It is snowing in Bucharest so I will be needing to wear practically all my clothes while I am there :-)

1 comment:

  1. The adventure finally starts, exciting!

    With regards to the hungarian language problem, maybe the software figures out the location of the IP address and automatically presents in that local language with no option to change? The subset of people with hungarian IP addresses but needing it all in English is probably small and not worth catering to... a mindset with which I'm sure you're familiar!!!

    Looking foward to hearing more. Patrick.