13 hours on a Train

I was up early and went to ask about the internet. I had the correct password but it didn’t work for some reason. I wanted to look at the train and the difference between first and second class. But no internet. Now that I’ve taken the train I know the only difference is there are less people in first class, I may have had an individual compartment instead of sharing with 3-5 other people.

I went to the train station early in the morning to buy a ticket and grab snacks from the little shop. I was given a ticket with a reserved seat. I got on the train just before it departed at 10am. I found mt seat and was glad I had payed extra for a reserved seat because all the window seats were reserved. If you didn’t pay for a reserved seat you could find any open seat that wasn’t a window. The person with the other reserved seat came and put him bags in the compartment and then left. Others passed by to find empty compartments. I was fine with this. Eventually the train began to fill and people began to join me in my compartment. They began a conversation with each other in another language.

I spent the time without internet using my laptop to type my adventures prior to the train journey. It was 3:45pm when I finished typing. This was because I spent so much time watching the scenery pass by.

This trip is supposed to be one of the most scenic train rides in Europe. It mostly passes through small towns and you can see many beautiful little red roofed hamlets. You also see lakes, rivers and dry creak beds. Lots of trees and cliffs. You pass through many tunnels cut into the hills. The landscape is dramatic and stunning, you spend much of the ride in the upper hills looking down into the valleys you pass through.

The scenery reminded me much of being home in the temperate rain forest, lush and green. At first I was excited to pass through the tunnels, I don’t know why but I like tunnels, but there were so many that the novelty wore off and they began to annoy me. They would get in the way right as I wanted to picture.

People embarked and disembarked at the little stations the train stopped at. My compartment was often full of people who did not speak English, so there was little conversation. The person with the other reserved seat was an English Man. He spent most of his time out of the compartment, in the smoking car. Not somewhere I was desperate enough to go for conversation.

Eventually it began to grow late. It was almost 9pm, when the train was set to arrive in Bar, Montenegro and the other occupant returned to the train compartment. The English man returned to the car and we had a conversation. I was happy to have someone to talk to, especially now that most of my electronics has died. He was spending the night in Bar before heading North to Kotor and then Croatia. He was on the train for the same reason I was, we had both heard of how nice the journey was.

After 9 we showed no signs of stopping so we continued to talk. He informed me of the ins and outs of the Brexit choice that was at the time up and coming. I thought it was madness, even more so than when Quebec held a referendum to leave Canada.

When he learned that I had not booked some where to stay he offered to share a cab into town with me. I could see if there was room at his B&B or look for a place to stay in town, I agreed to this. I had originally planned to get into bar and stay at the hostel but the later the time became, the darker the sky became, the less likely I was to find the hostel in the dark.

Finally in the dark of night, after 11pm we arrive in Bar. We went to see about a cab and had an aggressive driver offer us a price into town. I was fine with it but the English Man was not. We went to see other cabbies. As he was asking a Dutch couple over heard us and though we were headed to Ulsinj, like them. They offered to share a cab into town.

They had to call the hostel and get directions for the Taxi driver. While they called they asked if there was a free bed for me. There was, so I jumped ship with the English man and a maybe bed for a guaranteed bed. I joined them on the taxi to the hostel. It was in the opposite direction of where I wanted to travel but that’s the great thing about not having a solid plan, things can change.

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We got into Ulsinj and were met my a lady from the hostel. She got into the cab and gave directions up a hill and to The Pirate Hostel. It was a very original hostel. The doors and walls were painted with epic battle scenes, the bathroom door had a pirate on the loo. It was a wonderful and charming place. I learned there was a “guard dog” on premise but if you knew his name and told him to stop he wouldn’t bark at you when you came back late at night.

There were a number of people sitting around upstairs but I was tired and wanted to go to bed. I stayed to learn about the places on the map and some of the great things to do and that was all I could handle. I met the people upstairs and then snuck off to my dorm to crash.

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