Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Midnight Train to Sofia

After an overnight stop on Larissa, Greece, to visit a friend of a friend, we were off to Bulgaria. We caught the midnight train out of Thessaloniki. Within about 30 seconds of the train starting to move I realised that my camera was not with us. Panic! To jump off the train or not? I envisioned myself doing one of those leaps that they do in the movies. It was tempting...the train was still moving very slowly, but Gary was in the washroom and I wouldn't have had time to tell him what I was doing as making the jump would have had to happen immediately. Can you imagine his surprise if I simply wasn't there when he returned? Okay, its funny to think about now, but the pain of pulling away from the train station, knowing that your camera may be there somewhere...or not....almost would have made it worth it.

However, cooler heads prevailed and I remained on the train, heartbroken.

If you are considering taking a Bulgarian train, you should think twice. Yes, a night train is a good way to get from A to B, and in fact is the only train from Thessaloniki to Sofia, but.... 

We had sleeper. I was on the bottom. I must have been right over a wheel cause it was really noisy. I don't think most trains would be so noisy. My theory was that the rails were laid with a bit of space between them, resulting in a loud clackity-clack sound every few seconds.

Then there were the stops at the Bulgarian border for passport control...around 3:30am.

But the worst was the washroom....which still turns my stomach at the memory of it. The first trip to it was only mildly unpleasant. The one in the middle of the night was seriously revolting. A previous user had a problem that they should seek medical attention for. Their ability to spray the inside of the space is not normal!!!!! From the early '70's I have memories of Turkish toilets that one needed to wear boots when attending, but none came close to the Bulgarian train toilet. Okay, I gotta leave this subject alone. Dinner will be soon.

1 comment:

  1. Hi NIce story though. Could you tell me when the mentioned overnight time arrives in Sofia and how much the ticket costs ?