Night Train from Budapest

Sometimes H gets an idea in his mind and worries it like a bone until he sees it through to completion, even if it takes years. A trip around the Big Island took care of his need to rent a VW camper van in Hawai’i. This time he just knew that he wanted to take a night train somewhere in Europe. I, being the supportive wife, read aloud other people’s opinions about night trains to him and suggested that perhaps it wasn’t the most comfortable thing to do. However, since I left the planning of the Christmas trip up to him, I acquiesced and decided that I would accompany him in a sleeper car, especially since it was the end of the trip, and we would arrive at home where I could sleep the rest of the day, if needed.

Buying the tickets was a small Abenteuer in itself. We could not order them directly online from the Hungarian Train website, so we went through the SBB and requested a quote (first step of the process). They gave us a quote, and then we had to request a ticket. After that request was accepted, we ordered it online, and the ticket arrived in Die Post.

Let me admit up front that I actually really enjoyed the night train. We paid a little more and went for the two-person cabin rather than four or six. I got the bottom bunk which doubles as the seat.


It’s a narrow room, but really, it’s more space than you get if you just sit in a seat.


We got a little sink for washing hands. No drinking water,


but the medicine cabinet had plenty to drink.


A little place to hang coats with a ladder for the top bunk.


We got to the train in plenty of time and made sure we were in the right car. Half of the cars were headed to München, and our half to Zürich. No worries, we had a reservation for car 319 and when the conductor took our ticket, he didn’t tell us that we needed to move.

We sat and sat on the train, and we finally left about 50 minutes late, but we were in no hurry.


Good-bye Budapest!


The train stopped in Salzburg so that the München cars could decouple from ours and everyone could get to the correct place. That stop was the only time I woke up during the ride. I guess the motion of the train was soothing for sleep. Stopping the train and banging it around to get cars attached and detached is not so soothing for sleep, but it didn’t last too long, and soon I was sleeping again.

Before I knew it, I was waking up in the morning (still dark at 7:15) and looking out at western Austria and seeing a most beautiful blanket of snow. As the train rumbled on, the sun came up, and the conductor brought us our breakfast.


We had ordered hot chocolate as our drink of choice. I guess everyone gets orange juice, as well. The half sandwich each was not exactly what we were expecting, but we managed to put them away.

I’m rather glad that we were an hour late because it gave us more daylight in the train to see the beautiful snow, and when we arrived back in the Zürich HB, this is what we saw. Great end to a great trip!



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