Saturday, February 27, 2016

Orient Express - Budapest to Zurich + Vienna

An odd thing happened on our Orient Express trip - we had a long layover in Vienna. That meant that we left the airport and rode the train into the city to spend a few hours strolling around. Since we'd stopped off there already on our trip, we ended up riding the train through to Zurich, where we met up with a friend. This meant a little deviation from the traditional route and skipping Munich, but it was an excursion that agreed with us. I'd never been through that part of Europe and the train ride is stunningly beautiful.

We did well on this trip playing the time table by ear and buying tickets and making arrangements on the spur of the moment. Europe has such an extensive rail network and so many people ride the rails, there are always lots of trains in every country (unless you're unlucky and happen to be traveling while workers are on strike.) 

The scenery can be quite nice.

Even when you're just making a transfer, it's a pleasant experience. We had to change trains and while we waited, we walked around the station a bit. There was a mall right next door and we got some food, then got back on the train.

This is the point in the trip where we could have visited Vienna by train.
As it happened, our visit occurred during a long layover as we were flying to Istanbul to start our journey.

Getting to the city from the airport is so easy, which is typical of a European city.

Vienna is a gorgeous city; it's clean and full of awesome architecture.

Regular old businesses are often housed in amazing old buildings.

The Imperial Palace, seen here in the background.

Stephansplatz, the main square, is a great place to visit.

St. Stephens Cathedral and the entrance to the subway

Back to the train journey, we made our way to Zurich and were treated to great views.

The weather had been nice, but we arrived to grey skies and drizzle.

We only had a short time here, so the close proximity of the Swiss National Museum to the main station, Hauptbahnhopf, made it pleasant and convenient to visit.

An old postal carriage is seen here.

We found Zurich to be another picturesque and clean city, but I also thought that it's expensive. 

See the other legs of the journey here:

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