• Old School Travel!

    Budapest, Hungary to Krakow, Poland…train travel is commonplace in Europe and I wanted the full experience, so I took one of Europe’s famous overnight trains!

    We all have heard the stories of train bandits, pickpockets, and train drama, so I chose a private “couchette” or cabin in the sleeping car. I purchased the ticket for around $100 from a travel agency in Budapest and it was very easy! I had dreams of the Orient Express, but I tried to keep my fantasies in check…

    Train #360 left Budapest’s Keleti station at 8:05 pm and the journey takes over ten hours, arriving in Krakow at 6:50 am. The train split midway through the night and the back part goes to Berlin. I am not sure how they do it, but they do! I fell sound asleep by the train’s rocking, so not even sure when this all occurred.

    It was like going back in time, as I rolled my luggage through the grand station, a uniformed conductor greeted me and escorted me to my freshly appointed cabin. White crisp sheets, pillows, and a duvet with complimentary snacks were awaiting…I am smitten with the whole experience! As the train pulls out of the station, I hang out of my window channeling some old black and white movie…except no one is chasing after the train like the classic scenes we all have seen many time before! I felt very safe in my cabin and comfortable, after a few videos on my IPad, I settled in for a night’s sleep…

    The morning is greeted with coffee or tea served once again by the friendly conductor. My neighbors are also tourists and you can see the look of satisfaction on all our faces, as we have just experienced this novel mode of travel!

    This worldwide journey has been a trip of firsts…this first will not soon be forgotten!






  • Running to the Bulls!

    I arrived back in Barcelona and I must admit I am officially out of my element! No concierge, No guidebook, Nada! Today I am heading to Pamplona to watch the infamous running of the bulls (I don’t plan to get chased by them).

    I couldn’t be more excited, but I am gonna need a huge dose of positive travel karma in order to get me there! No chauffeur or red carpet treatment on this trip…this journey to see an event I have dreamed of experiencing is becoming daunting, even for an experienced traveller like myself. The trains are all full, the hotels are all full, and most of the viewing spots along the run are taken!

    I have learned that staying strong and not giving up is key when traveling…ask, do not be shy, try every angle, and most importantly forge on!

    I am not nearly as calm as sound, I was swearing up and down that confusing Barcelona Sants train station going from window to window until I figured out a way to get to Pamplona. The Catalan language is so hard to understand and finding an English speaker is very elusive! So here I go; I believe I found a 1 star hostel (yikes!), I am taking a train to Zaragoza and hopefully a bus onwards from there, and I think I even secured a tiny spot on a miniature balcony overlooking the running of the bulls.

    Pamplona here I come…I think I already stared down a few bulls in my effort to get there and not sure what the rest of the route will hold! I may just be fool hardy enough to put on all white, tie on a red neck scarf, and run with those damn bulls if I am lucky enough to ever get there!

    Here I go…20120706-150235.jpg20120706-150317.jpg