Monday, September 29, 2008

Night Train to Budapest

After a slight mishap we are on the train to Budapest. When we took th train down from Dresden last week we got off at the Holstice station, so of course that is where we thought we had to get off this time. Oops, we were supposed to get off at the next stop at the main station. Luckily we had plenty of time and a little spare change. We just hoped on the metro and three stops later we were at the correct station. The main station is still in a transition phase between communist disrepair and art nouveau. As you walk into the station the ceiling is low, dark and dingy, then a temporary red ceiling facade to cover the blistering concrete. Every now and then an art nouveau feature would peak out of the rubble. The bathroom facilities are new, glistening in their dayglow lime green paint. Since we had about a two hour wait between trains, we started looking for a place to sit. The northern station has a lounge for first class passengers, however the lounge in the main station was "under construction". No doubt it was overrun by the new bathroom. We then followed a dubious looking sign up a flight of stairs to a cafe that was supposed to be open all night. The cafe was situated in a great domed area. it was very dim up there, but as my eyes adjusted I could tell that his had been the old ticketing area and we were surrounded by the trappings of Prague at its heyday. For a quick impression, think Bladerunner. There were hardly any people up there and a scattering of tables filled the balcony. We ordered a beer and wine and just watched the strange procession before us.
The train was right on time and now we are just hanging out getting our teeth rattled on the old Czech tracks.


No comments: