We have not reached Bucharest yet but we have already had a number of adventures – the first of them in Poland… How many times have you traveled on a train whose cars separate and one part of the draft of cars goes to, let us say, Zakopane, and another part to Przemyśl? Many times, I guess. So have we, but, for the first time, we have got on the wrong car.
Overjoyed that our journey had begun we only realized we were heading in the wrong direction when we arrived in Skawina. A quick emergency action and, at the moment when the train stopped in the middle of nowhere to pass another train, we jumped off the car. After a while we saw another train coming from Zakopane… well, it obviously was not planned to stop where we stood but – what are thumbs for? The symbolic gesture of pointing the thumbs up made the whole train stop especially for us and we got on it. The train operator came and asked – what’s up? He smiled in a silly way and added: – Sit here and don’t go anywhere. I will leave you in
Płaszów, at the siding, because this is a substitute train which does not go to the station. To sum up – our journey around the world was started in the wrong direction… but at least we had good reasons to laugh. The later part of the journey did not abound in interesting events… we took a train to Przemyśl, arrived at the border, spent a few hours in Lwów, and took a train to Czerniowce where something attracted our attention again.
We knew that we were to catch a means of transport from Ukraine to Romania somewhere around the bus station, what we did not know was that it would be a contraband bus. We negotiated the price, got on the bus, and were soon on the road. One Mexican got on as well! But before the bus really got on its way it had stopped in a number of places where it had been loaded with additional cargo of strange contraband objects.
I immediately envisioned the Russian-Mongolian border… the quintessence of traveling – wild borders 🙂 But… that is not the end of the story… we arrived in Suczawa and began to search for some way of getting to Bucharest. We badly want to be in Turkey as fast as possible because we have an appointment there, in Cappadocia, on 13 July, at 9:15 AM, with a certain Barti. Unfortunately, hitch-hiking in Romania is not free of charge, so we decided that a train would offer us the best price to time ratio. We set off for the Suczawa railway station where we were supposed to find a cheap train to Bucharest. It turned out, however, that even as there was no lack of trains, all of them were expensive and well beyond our financial capabilities.
Therefore we were just about to summon a council when an old lady spoke to us and it turned out she was a war veteran with huge discounts for train travel. The deal was simple – the three of us would pay an equivalent of a half of the price of our tickets to the old woman who would buy us special tickets, for the so-called “care” over her, and a ticket for herself, and would bribe the train ticket seller with 10 lei, and would bribe the conductor with the same amount, and then everyone would be super-satisfied.
Oh, I would have forgotten: the grandma also earns 50 lei 🙂 Business blossoms in the beautiful EU country, Romania! The best thing is that it all goes so smoothly on its own, and the first part of this post is dedicated to Leopadka – she knows why.