(Saturday, Feb. 23rd)
I got up super early this morning after about two hours of sleep. I tried to stay awake watching the most recent episode of Downton Abbey, but realized when my alarm went off that I had been unsuccessful at achieving that goal. (I literally watched all first three seasons in three days.) I know from all the posts on FB that someone else dies – PLEASE don’t tell me who! I’ll get around to watching it soon.
My train was leaving at 8:03am out of Wien Meidling station. I only had experience coming and going on these long trips from the Westbahnhof, so this was a new experience for me. I had to take three different UBahn (subway) trains to get to the station, but fate was kind, as I got to the stations right in time for a train every time. (No long waits to delay me.)
The big surprise of the morning was coming outside to a great deal of snow on the ground, with the flakes still falling heavily. Miloš had also sent me snow pics from Crikvenica during the night – they do not get snow very often where he lives, so it’s quite the novelty. I guess it was snowing everywhere!
Several people have asked me if Miloš was going to be coming up to Vienna to visit me, but it’s a great deal cheaper for me to visit him. I have an unlimited 3-month Global Rail Pass, which allows me to take any train in Europe for no additional charge. (There are a few exceptions – like night trains.) So for me to be on the train all day costs nothing more. That and the difference in cost of living makes it an easy decision. Plus – it’s usually warmer down there. Next week is supposed to be great – I’m looking forward to the nice weather to be able to walk around by the beach.
This snowy weather is giving me the most amazing view – I have a lovely winter wonderland outside the window as we cruise by. I literally just saw castle ruins on a small mountain top all covered in snow. Beautiful! But it won’t be long before I’ll have to shut my eyes and get some sleep. Miloš and I will be going out tonight in Rijeka and coming back to Crikvenica in the early morning hours, so I gotta rest up now. My train gets into Ljubljana at 3:10pm, it sits there for an hour, then we leave and get to Rijeka at 5:55pm. Ten hours in a train…. one hour down, nine more to go! Why so long, when the flight to Croatia is only 40 minutes? The train has to work its way on a twisted course through the mountains of Austria. It is not a straight line by any means. And the tricky terrain means slower speeds most of the time. But it’s okay – it’s worth it – for the beautiful journey and the excellent destination. 😉