During my travels I have been lucky not to experience many problems. Sure, there have been some narrow escapes but nothing that could have been catastrophic. This was until my last trip to Budapest. The scenario being I was going to return to Vienna by coach on Friday 12 March. Ticket had been booked for some time so there should not be any problem.
Reality however, proved to be different. Snow had fallen during the night and with the day being a national holiday in Hungary the police made the decision to close the roads in and out of Budapest. This meant my coach was cancelled. While a little shocked I was not unduly worried. I did not need to be in Vienna until Saturday for my coach back to London. My coach ticket was changed free of charge and I could book another night at the hostel. I saw this as a bonus.
Saturday came and the snow was thawing. Surely no problem. However, I was proved wrong. Without an explanation why all coaches to Vienna were cancelled. I was told my best bet would to take a train instead. The only problem I had, was where was the train station. Nobody at the coach seemed to know which I found to be odd. Eventually somebody told me which stop I should head for.
My heart was in my mouth as I was hoping I had enough money for a train ticket. Fortunately cost of rail travel on mainland Europe is a lot cheaper than the UK and I managed to board a train to Vienna and caught my coach back to London. For an hour though I was travelling by the seat of my pants. I was not in control of the situation. This was the first time something like this had happened to me. Though I suspect it will happen again on my travels.
So what will I learn from this situation:-
- Do not lose your temper at the staff. They delivered the news and are not the cause of the problem.
- Take 5 minutes to assess the situation and weigh up your options. They might be staring in front of your face.
- Research your destination. Find out where all the transport hubs are located. The more options, the better chance you have finding a positive outcome.
- Ensure you have access to emergency funds for this type of situation.
- Chalk it down to experience. You have something to tell your family and friends about.
Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.