The last leg of my epic 3-week Europe trip was the busiest, which was not my brightest planning move. We were heading to 4 different countries in 3 days, all via train, and it meant we had to stop a lot and lug our bags around. Thankfully Prague was great start to the trip for me, so I was feeling ready to take on the last leg of the journey. My sister Nicole, on the other hand, was not. She had been sick since leaving Venice, and was not ready to move around so much. But the tickets were already booked, so off we went.
NOTE: trains all over Europe are very easy to navigate and buy tickets for. We booked our tickets ahead because it is the busy travel time of summer for Europe, but you could easily fly by the seat of your pants and book train tickets as you get to stations.
The train ride to Vienna, Austria was hectic, and with Nicole not feeling 100%, I was starting to feel stressed about the next few days ahead. The ride was 4 hours long, and as we waited in the Prague terminal for them to announce our gate, Nicole was not feeling great. When they finally did, the mad rush for the train and seats began. Some people had seats (thank GOD, we did) and some people did not. This meant people pushing and sitting in others seats. We got to ours with a few minor shoves from passengers, but it was hard ot figure out where to put your luggage. Once the train took off, we were fine though, and I realized they had some of the strongest wifi I had had in Europe. So I got some work done and journeled while Nicole slept. The 4 hours flew by, and we were in Vienna for just 24 hours. I had booked a hotel room the night before, instead of staying in a hostel. With Nicole being sick, and it being the end of our journey, I was ready for a good night sleep (and air conditioning, since our AirBnB didn’t have it, even with it being 90+ degrees out!)
Once in Vienna, we checked into our GLORIOUS hotel (glorious because it was clean, had breakfast, and the comfiest beds ever. For me, I had been traveling for over 2 weeks at this point. These things are insanely wonderful when you haven’t had them for awhile), and started walking around. I hadn’t done much planning in Vienna, so we walked around for hours and just explored the beautifully manicured streets, museums, and buildings that were in the city center. We stumbled upon this cute street market full of restaurants, and stopped for beers and dinner. Although Nicole still didn’t feel great, she was getting better, and it was nice to sit and talk for what seemed like the first time of the trip.
we did this beer shot at every place we went!
The next morning, we slept in, grabbed breakfast, and decided to head off to the train station so we could make it to Bratislava for the afternoon. At only an hour away from Vienna, the Slovakia capital was on the way to Budapest, and I figured why not check another country off my list?
When we arrived in Bratislava, we were a bit overwhelmed by the chaos and madness. The train station was small and packed, and we couldn’t really figure out how to get anywhere easily. So we walked around for a bit with our bags, and decided to head back to the train and go to Budapest. We wanted to have as much time there as possible, and after moving around so much, we knew it would be nice to drop our bags. So my pictures of Bratislava are mostly around the train station. But hey, I tried!
The train from Bratislava to Budapest was another 2 hours, and this train was clean and open. We had fun talking to a nice Romanian man on the train, and then trying to take pictures of the beautiful castles and countryside as we rode through Slovakia. Not something you see everyday! When we crossed the border into Hungry, I celebrated silently to myself. My 35 country! Let’s do this Budapest! I was ready to make my last few days in Eastern Europe the best they could be. And with Nicole finally feeling better, so was she!