So I've made it to Transylvania then folks!
Have you ever taken a 3 hour train journey and actually enjoyed it? I hadn't until today. The challenge right now though becomes how to write about a train journey and make it both accurate and entertaining. Can't promise anything but here is how I passed 3 hours earlier on:
So get this, although I would soon approach my train with a bit of a face on (what could possibly be enjoyable about a 3 hour journey with crowded carriages and local, probably non-English speaking Romanians?), by the end of the journey I'd have happily stayed on for another hour or so. Curiously, this wasn't from a life-changing experience or anything dramatic but just some self-comical moments and some re-appreciation of a modern pastime we can all relate to...
But before that, I said 'la revedere' to my hostel and my latest 'friends along the way'. Well, the small handful there were awake at 10am as it will have been another late night for the majority of those revellers. I bowed out around midnight well aware that drinking and talking amongst the group will have gone on for another few more hours yet.
I managed to navigate from the hostel, to the metro, to the main station with relative ease and I purchased a ticket to Brasov. The cost for 3 hours of transportation - £4. Not bad hey considering I used to pay half of that to get from Weston Milton to Weston-super-Mare and that takes 6 minutes!
As I approached the platform, I noticed the train was of an older build - certainly it wasn't anything modern looking! I soon discovered this was because I took the regional train. 'Ah bong' I thought, until I boarded the train and discovered next to no people! Get in. Whoooooo.
It all looked quite clean too which both surprised and impressed me and so I settled in for the journey ahead.
Have you guys ever ridden on a train that doesn't appear to mind having its doors open!?
How then, I could resist such an opportunistic moment!
Now let's fast forward half hour or so and my tummy starts to grumble unpleasantly. Bugger, I know 'that' time had arrived.
I was comfortable in leaving my belongings - besides there wasn't much else I could do and the toilet area was near by. Upon entering I immediately saw daylight but it was coming from beneath! That was because there was an angled toilet hole exiting the train. No way! Now, it's at this point that I should inform you that I've never really been properly educated into the waste disposal workings of air-planes and trains so please feel free to enlighten me. Still though, I was totally surprised by this and a little stunned and embarrassed if I'm honest.
After the realisation of what was about to happen reduces, I proceed in doing my business when I hear somebody else trying to get in, however thankfully the door was firmly locked. Anyhow, upon completing my business I take a glance down and there it is looking right back at me from a foot below! I eventually find a foot system to flush it out of the train and that was that except no, the bugger is still there like an immovable object! 'Ah shit' I think somewhat appropriately and fully aware that somebody is waiting outside the cubicle to get in after me. I panic a little before accepting my fate... so down my arm went (with paper obviously) and the rest is self explanatory. That folks, was that. Hopefully never again! :-)
Anyhow, now fully relieved I could sit back and take in the rest of the stunning scenery along the way. This wasn't quite like driving though the French Alps or the Pyrenees as the houses out here in the country were of course, less privileged. Still nature is nature and it was beautiful, stream after stream, forest after forest. I then realised we were approaching some mountains, how fantastic. To think it was only hours ago I was amidst the big city streets and six lane traffic!
This was the first time in two weeks I felt I was properly able to relax in my own company undisturbed. I took this opportunity to get my iPod out for only the second time and blast out some tunes. A half empty train, mountain scenery, time to be able to think and chill whist immersing myself in my music, well I felt relaxed and happy during those 3 hours and that is why I wouldn't have minded staying on their for longer. I think I had a constant smile, especially during the last couple of hours.
Still, I arrived in Brasov around 3.30pm. The beauty of not having a time frame to stick to is that turning up somewhere new half way through the day doesn't matter. In fact, I prefer it like this as I can catch up all the little things and not have to even consider exploring until the next day. If anything, I'll just extend my day here another day, or maybe I won't, who knows...
Having realised I've eaten out a lot recently, I thought I would go back to basics for this evening's meal and I'm glad I did as this stuff never disappoints!
Actually, that got me thinking, food is interesting so I've made an additional page under the 'Travel experiences' menu bar. Now, joining 'Friends along the way' is Food along the way.
I'll hope to report back from Dracula territory in the next couple of days I hope.