Monday, September 6, 2010

Dramatic Departure from Budapest

I found the above photo of the Budapest train station and it made me laugh. What an impact that singular place had on our trip! By the last day of our vacation the Iceland volcano still had not let up after a week of grounding flights. Unsure of whether our flight the next day would take off, we sucked it up and bought train tickets back to Brussels. With our final flight to the USA only 2 days later we couldn't afford to be in the wrong spot. It was time to get home. Just having an answer - albeit an expensive one - and a 14 hour one instead of a 1 hour flight - was heartening.

The peace of mind helped us get out and at 'em to see Budapest one last time. We jogged by Parliament...Marveled at the incredible architecture.
And then the big morning came. It looked light some flights could take off this day - making the decision all the cloudier. We had to get on the train at 8 AM or risk it and wait for the possible 4 PM flight. I am not a gambler so we took the train...
It proved a long, yet heart-stopping journey. With three connections - delayed trains - and more British travelers than I thought possible. Everyone was jovial and trying to make the best of things. When we narrowly made our 1st of the 3 connections by the skin of our teeth I thought my insides would melt. Our train was 40 minutes late and we just knew we were stuck. But lo and behold when we exited and looked at the platform that second train was delayed too by golly.
Connor was a sweet trooper. She has developed a hearty travel spirit and entertained entire cars of passengers on our train journey.
We were disappointed to learn after the 14 hours that our Budapest-Brussels flight was one of the very few that did make it out (translation - no refund). But the forward motion of the train was definitely the right way for us. We were a part of that volcano experience, which was harrowing, frustrating, and incredible. I can't think of a more appropriate way for us to exit Europe. We have always been ones right in the middle of the action. Why should this dramatic departure be any different?!?

Click here for full album photos of Hungary

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