All Aboard to Budapest

Vienna was always considered the starting point of my mini-European vacation so all along, I was considering where else I could go.  Bratislava was definitely close by, and I could always settle on maintaining a pure Austrian experience by traveling to Western Austria, but I was looking for something a little more grandiose, and Budapest fit the bill perfectly as it was close enough to Vienna yet different enough to make it interesting.  To make the decision even easier, I came across the SparSchiene Special in which ÖBB offers Vienna <=>; Budapest train tickets for as little as 19 Euros each way.  So with my ticket in hand, I was off to the Wien Westbahnhof train station, not knowing exactly what to expect as this would be my train trip ever.

Well, this is what the train looked like from the outside... 

and in the inside...
and since you're curious, the washroom...
What surprised me was there was very little guidance as to which train wagon to climb into and of course, I ended up in the wrong cabin, but was quickly pointed in the right direction by an employee on board. I guess the train company expects everyone to know what they're doing.  Well, considering my train ticket was completely in German, I think I did pretty well on getting on the right train the first time, and the right seat on the second try.  Nevertheless, I got comfortable in my seat, and soon enough, the train started moving.

Soon enough, I was asked by an employee to present my train ticket, and I was off to Hungary!

Besides the wind turbines that dotted the farmland, the scenery was not too spectacular but it was interesting to notice the transition from Western to Eastern Europe along the way.  The train stopped at the Austrian-Hungarian border (or at least somewhere nearby) where there the ticket-checkers boarded off the train and new ones boarded the train and again, checked everyone's tickets. Now at this point, I was expecting to have my passport checked but this was not the case; only the train ticket was of any interest to the ticket-checker.  There were a few stops along the way, but none lasted more than a few minutes nor were there any announcements as to the next stop, etc. so if you plan to get off the train before hitting Budapest, it's up to you to get off at the right train station.

Just over three hours later, I arrived at Keleti Pályaudvar Station in Budapest, Hungary!

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