As I may have mentioned in previous posts I travel a lot by coach across mainland Europe. The railways had never been considered. The reason for that was I thought the railways were too expensive. This was based upon rail travel in the UK.
On my last day in Budapest in March I was put in a situation where I had no choice but to catch the train as my coach to Vienna had been cancelled without any notice. This led me into a blind panic. The only option was to catch the train. I thought that buying a rail ticket on the day of travel was going to cost me a fortune. This is how is works in the UK. I am going to end up stuck in Budapest.
I enquired on how much a ticket was going to cost. To my surprise I was told it would cost Huf7500 which is about £22.00, a bargain. To purchase a rail ticket between London and Manchester on the day would cost £76.00.
The train itself was comfortable. I even found a seat. In the UK you are not guaranteed a seat. The last major rail journey I made in the UK was between Birmingham and York. I had a seat number only to find somebody else sitting in my seat and they would not move. There was no staff available so I ended up having to sit in somebody else's seat, not ideal.
The train arrived into Vienna on time. This was unlike the UK where reliability is an issue that draws up a lot of complaints. By the time I arrived into Vienna all the tension and panic I was suffering from had disappeared as I knew I would be leaving for the UK on time.
The lesson I have learnt from the experience is not to judge other country's rail system to the UK before I try it. I should have realised by the popularity of the Eurail passes that travelling by rail in Europe can be an enjoyable experience that can be value for money.
Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.