This photo essay charts my solo train journey from Bratislava to Budapest. Everything was quite a different experience I’m now used to in the UK. I’ve bought the ticket a day earlier from the main train station. A second class return ticket cost me only £16. I was told First Class tickets cost double the price at £30. Was very surprised to see how rude the ticket agent was at the station. The women never smiled and was never interested in customer service. Well that didn’t bother me much. I think it’s unique.

I was told by Roland, my Slovakian office mate that this was a normal occurrence in the country particularly from the older generation. After the communist era, the market liberalised and suddenly everyone had to depend on a special set of skills to survive. People with more skills get better job and money. It was different back then when everyone gets the same amount of money regardless what they do. However I’ve found most people (especially the younger ones) are generally very friendly and definitely approachable.

The journey takes about two and a half hour between the two capital cities.

 

Waiting for the train at the Bratislava’s Hlavna Stanica station. In Central Europe, most train stations cater for international departure. If it were in the UK, the station would have had ‘International’ in the name – an example is St Pancras International. How cool is that!

 

On the platform in Bratislava awaiting for the train. Boarded the 9:45am EC Train to Belgrade, Serbia via Budapest. As usual in this region, trains arrived and leaves bang on time. The train was on a full capacity between Bratislava and the first station (which I’ve already forgotten the name). Afterwards, I was literally alone in my cabin.

 

 

 

The train running through the Slovakian countryside. The Slovakian landscape on this stretch contains mostly large and green fields.

 

The empty 6 people cabin on its way past Slovakia

 

Approaching a Hungarian village near the Danube. I think this was Nagmayar Visegrad, a tranquil village on the bank of the Danube. Loved this village. Too bad I didn’t have time to visit it.

 

The train line then approaches the mighty Danube and runs along the snaking lake for about 30 minutes. Truly a magnificent view

 

 

 

 

Pulling into the outskirts of Budapest

 

Approaching the station, passing through some housing blocks along the railway lines.

 

Train finally pulling into a platform at Budapest Keleti Station. Note the beautiful architecture and a grand welcome to Budapest.

 

Exiting the platform at this international rail station. There are many international departures from this station which includes Prague, Belgrade, Bucharest and Dresden to name a few.

 

Out on the street on my way to the metro. The exterior of the station is amazing. Though be a bit careful around this area especially at night. Unfortunately there are many beggars wandering around. Nevertheless I’ve never had any trouble on my way back to the station for a 5:10am train.