Monday, February 22, 2016

Orient Express - Istanbul to Budapest via Bucharest

We really enjoyed traveling across Europe by rail. Going from Istanbul to London, our accommodations got increasingly more expensive, and decreasingly comfortable as we crossed to the West. That meant these first legs were the most enjoyable for me. We had such a lovely time in Istanbul and it is such a gorgeous and vibrant city, I didn't really think we'd have as good a time elsewhere. It was time to move on though, and we made our way to the station to catch an overnight train. There wasn't much scenery in the dark and we just relaxed and settled in to our room.

Before long we had to make a border crossing. 

In this case we all had to file off the train and go through customs. At some other border crossings, we'd stay in the train while customs agents came onto the train and went room to room checking passports. It's interesting being out in what feels like the middle of nowhere, at some random checkpoint, in the middle of the night. The process was easy though, it didn't take long.

We got some sleep.

We loved just relaxing and taking in all of the views from the comfort of our room - some pastoral, some urban, some picturesque and some lovely, but all interesting.

People, watching.

Moving on, we arrived in Bucharest the next day and we'd overnight here. It was time to do a little walking to explore the city.

It still has a nice enough metro system..
..and you're never far from a Coke.

It's not my favorite place in the world; it felt and looked drab and dreary for the most part. The weather wasn't helping.

I was more than happy to get back on the train and move forward on our journey. Again, we had a nice little room and we were very comfortable.

Once again, we were treated to a variety of scenery...

..that became really nice as the train moved on.

Our journey took us into Austria, and eventually, Budapest.

The market hall is gorgeous.

We stopped in Budapest for a few days to have a look around. I was so pleased we did this; I found it to be a great city full of beautiful architecture, atmosphere, and lots of things to do

The food here is delicious. You don't have to look far to find excellent pastries and bread. 

The Danube, which divides the city into Buda and Pest, makes the place very picturesque.

We had a fabulous time here. It's a city I'd like to see again.

The Castle Hill Funicular is a fun little ride

The castle is a nice place to wander around, as is the rest of the city.

See the other legs of the journey here:

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