August 5 - Riding the Rails to Slovenia

Every summer we never cease to be amazed with the public transportation system in many countries in Europe and Austria is no exception. Their trains are clean, modern, efficient, on time, and seem to effortlessly whisk you straight to your destination-or maybe not!

The train to Slovenia left Vienna at 12:30. Our compartment held six people. but there was only one other person inside with us so plenty of room. Our five hour trip seemed easy and we all spent it listening to ipods plugged into handy onboard outlets. Out the window the scenery was spectacular with wooden framed houses with window boxes bursting with flowers, rolling green hills dotted with wildflowers, and churches with tiny onion domes. All too soon it was time to make our one and only transfer to Lake Bled. We settled into our seats when a cry went out from a group of British students, "Get off the train now. They are splitting it into two going two different ways!" and just as we found a conductor, the train pulled away.

Two other passengers in our compartment, one from Germany and one from Bosnia, were able to speak to the conductor. We were able to figure out we needed to go back the other direction and it would all work out, but when it was translated to us, he had actually said, "Sometimes there are complications and that's your problem." Ouch!

Thank goodness we had our cell phone and called our accommodation to alert them we would arrive after 7:30pm. After a 90 minute wait in a small train station with nothing to eat except popcorn, finally our new train arrived and after an hour we arrived in Bled.

The Pension Mayer is an alpine chalet style with a bathroom like one you would find in a first class hotel. We ate in the restaurant and had the grilled salmon and potatoes with spinach.

After dinner we ventured down to the lake where the castle was all lit up high above the water. Our day of riding the rails is over. It's time for a day of adventure on this alpine lake and maybe a piece of their famous creme cake too.


Your train experience reminds me of when I took the train from Barcelona to Florence when traveling in Europe. Taking in the views from the train window was often breathtaking-- especially of Nice and the towns in Southern France.

Like you, there was a snag in the train ride. Due to a train workers' strike in Italy, they needed to reroute our train in the middle of the night in a train station in the middle of nowhere in Italy. Thank goodness this involved my friend and I being surrounded by about one hundred backpacking Americans so it was an adventure! However, we were not talked to so rudely by a conductor!

The lit up castle sounds like it was beautiful. I hope you have a great day on the alpine lake!
Explorer Bear said…
That strike in Italy does not sound fun at all. You were lucky you were surrounded by all those people or that would have been scary!

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