Left Rijeka, Croatia, at 5:35 yesterday morning for Budapest. I spent the night at the Botel Marina, a converted ship permanently moored in the port, and had dinner at same. Clerk and waitress both spoke excellent English and the chef was from South Carolina. He’d met a Croatian woman, married her and moved to Rijeka. They’re staying because the health benefits are wonderful–and free! But he told me they’ll move back to America later. The clerk arranged for a taxi so I didn’t have to walk to the depot in the rain and dark. Traffic lights and streetlights reflected in the rain-slick roads could have been an Impressionist painting. Yet even in the rain and the darkness, birds knew dawn was near and sang greetings to a new day. And so onto the train.
Eleven hours later, butt-sore, famished, and exhausted, I got off in Budapest, Hungary. ( I could make a really bad pun about the country and my condition but I’ll refrain.) There was no restaurant or bar car on the train and I hadn’t had time to buy water or food. Still had a partial loaf of bread and packets of jelly from the Italian breakfast box of two days prior, plus almonds and cranberries, and some dried figs. Yet eating without water to wash them down didn’t work too well. We finally stopped for 11 minutes at a rural station so I ran to the WC (water closet/toilet), used the facilities, and filled my plastic water bottle with tap water.
One of my missions today is to buy a couple of bottles of water and some pastries to take with tomorrow. The trip is only 5 hours but I’m not takin’ any chances. Eating only a few ounces in 23 hours isn’t my idea of a good time. Makes me real damn grouchy. Which I hate. Which I’m not going to do again, thank you very much.
And so the journey continues.