Friday, May 21, 2010

Day 7 - How Janina got stranded in Hungary...

You know how my blog wasn't the funniest upto now, filled with "blah blah and then I went to see blah blah"? Well, this is going to change it up. Cuz today, pretty much all I saw were random Hungarian train station stops in the middle of the pampa.

How to be stranded in Hungary for Dummies

1. Pick a travel route that requires you to change regional trains at least twice and at the smallest train stations possible.
2. Make sure that your first train is delayed just enough to make you miss your connection.
3. Get off at the random train station anyway because you don't have another plan and your ticket doesn't take you to Budapest.
3b) Optional: for maximum enjoyment, try getting off the train before the Hungarian border guards have checked your passport, causing the control person to bellow "What are you doing? Sit down again!"
4. Realize that nobody at the random train station speaks any other language but Hungarian.
5. Realize that you don't have any of the local currency on you.
6. Take it as an adventure.

I had assumed that since I was taking a regional train, even if I missed the connection it would be fine because those trains run hourly or something. Well, no. Fortunately enough, there was another train to my final destination (Pecs), but it left a good three and a half hours later. So, time to explore the city! Um, town. Village really. Wait, do five houses count as a village? After I had tried to find the city centre and walked along a road of never-changing basic grey concrete houses in diverse states of dilapidation, I realized that the little square in front of the train station was the city centre! Yeah, Gyekenyes is that hardcore. Looking it up, I can't believe I missed the famed attractions of chapel and mine lake! Apparently, "The former closed border station has become an open-minded village by now aiming to focus on the development of tourism in the future." LOL. I ended up giving my survival apples to really sweet kids excited to see an alien backpacker in their environment, though our communication was limited to "hi" and "bye". The rest of the three hours had me sitting in the square, in front, in, and behind the train station, althewhile trying to dodge the looks of "what a weirdo with a backpack is that" that I got from diverse Gyekenyesers. Seriously, I felt like I was the first tourist they ever saw. That focus on tourism might have to be a touch better developed.

Finally, the train pulled in (it was the longest three hours ever, I was really tired but terrified of sleeping through the train and having to sleep in Gyekenyes), and after bording it the next adventure begun. Don't get me wrong - the Hungarian countryside was crazily beautiful, a lot flatter than Slovenia but with the same charm, but the adventure was rather how the train sometimes slowed down to probably around 5 km/h and followed the railroad tracks that seemingly went across a lake! It must have been raining like crazy the last couple of weeks, because the whole area seemed inundated and the train seriously was maybe half a meter above the water's edge. Wildlife sightings included water snakes and various kinds of birds; it sometimes felt like the train was slowing down in order to give us a scenic tour instead of just trying to snake along the tracks.

Finally, finally arriving in Pecs around 6.15pm, I was impressed by the beautiful old town centre (I know, same old, same old) and am looking forward to explore it in more detail tomorrow. Knock on wood that it won't rain too hard!

1 comment:

  1. Well have fun in Budapest, I had a blast while I was there. If you want a really kitschy but blastful souvenir pick up one of their "secret boxes" buckets of fun!