So, the family has been terribly sick, and we were in Bucharest, Romania. We wanted to visit Belgrad in Serbia. The kids and K found a great flight…. But Max the dog couldn’t come along. So, we took an epic train journey. Bucharest to Sofia, Bulgaria. Overnight in a hostel, and the next day, Sofia to Belgrad. Both were 7-8 hour days on trains. With multiple changes.
Now, in Romania, the trains are notorious for being slow. I also discovered that they are also heated to just under the the surface of the sun. And most do not have operable windows. So, you wear a t-shirt, and a LOT of water.
One station in Bulgaria had a flooded tunnel (snowmelt) so we had to jump off the platforms onto the tracks a few times to get to the station.
I knew the journey would be long, so I bought a roaming plan on my Romanian sim (roamin’ from Romania). This worked great in Bulgaria. But not in Serbia. Lost connection right across the border :(.
I made friends with 2Turkish guys who spoke no English, but loved Max. They even walked him when we hunted for a taxi in Belgrad.
Belgrad, Serbia (a beautiful, lovely place). While I was on my journey, K and the kids got sicker, and decided that they wanted to be in the UK, where they feel at home. We spent a couple of days in Belgrad, and they made their way to Edinburgh.
I had a talk in Novi Sad (a town I had never heard of before, but one I really loved!), so I left a few days later.
Again. How do I get Max to the UK? Eurostar does not allow dogs, unless you drive your car on the rain. Ferries mostly require your dog to stay in the car too. Hmm.
I called P&O ferries. They allow walk on dogs from Zeebrugge, Belgium on their overnight to Hull. Ok. One link created!!!
Hull to Edinburgh – train! Link created!!!
Belgrad to Zeebrugge…. Ok, I knew this would be epic. We begin our epic journey. At 7:30 AM, Max and I arrive at Belgrad station for our train to Vienna, via Budapest. No changes, so that’s nice.
a couple of border crossings and a mostly empty cabin… Except from Budapest to Graz, when we were packed in. 12 hours later, we arrive. The train did have power plugs, and I had data, so it wasn’t horrible 🙂
Arrive in Vienna, walk 20 minutes to my Airbnb, and we collapse.
Next morning, bright and early, back to the station. 6:50 train Vienna to Frankfurt. Frankfurt to Brussels. Brussels to Bruges.
We arrived at nearly 8 Pm. My Airbnb host had a dog, so Max and Boogie played while we chatted.
Saturday – ferry left at 1830, so I had a free day in Bruges. Max and I walked for hours through Bruges – a new favorite city. I need to come back with everyone!! Max is now in a kennel, and I’m typing from the rear deck of the ferry. I bought the cheap shared cabin, and lucked out! No one else is sharing!
In the morning, we’ll conclude this trip with a 4 hour train to Edinburgh. (4 hours!!! Easy peasy!)
I can’t wait to see my family again. And relax in one place for a bit!
Update: Sunday. Max did not like his kennel on the ferry. So much that he escaped!!
“Will Dr. Sillars please report to the information desk on the red level?” (I never use the Dr. salutation, except on stupid webforms when I do not expect it to be used). We walked him, and got him back in the kennel 🙂
I’m now on my last train (the red leg in the screenshot below). Just 3 more hours to go!!