Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Train Rides 2014 - Budapest to Vienna

Date: 11th April 2014

Photo courtesy from Wikipedia of Budapest Keleti station

Following advised from “The man in seat 61”, we set our minds to take Railjet train no. 68 to Vienna from Budapest and the following day by train no. 668 to Salzburg from Vienna. The train is managed and owned by OBB, stands for The Austrian Federal Railways (Osterreichische Bundesbahnen, OBB in German language). OBB is the national railway system of Austria, and the administrator of Liechtenstein's railways. The OBB group is owned entirely by the Republic of Austria and is divided into several separate businesses that manage the infrastructure and operate passenger and freight services.

Disappointing for missing a chance to shoot the Keleti Station building (see 1st photo, had to share from Wikipedia). Our luggage was safely and conveniently stored behind me

Comparing the price that we initially budgeted with the actual ticket priced paid in Budapest on 9th April 2014 to Vienna and to Salzburg, we glad to know that we save nearing 40% of its fare. Hence, I would hereby recommend to all, only purchasing your train ticket on your arrival at the departure city as nothing to worry with the train services. There’s plenty of trains available and on standby to get to a nearer city for you to choose. In fact it even offers a return ticket though you paid for a single ride. I was a bit regret for not asking the ticket lady to issue 3 tickets up to Munich as I believe we can save even more.

The Austrian rail system is largely electrified. Electrification of the system began in 1912 but did not reach an advanced state until the 1950s. The last steam locomotive in regular service on the standard gauge network was retired in 1978. How advance!

Whilst, the Railjet is a high-speed train of the Austrian Federal Railways (OBB), which was introduced with the timetable change of 2008-2009 and operates at speeds of up to 230 km/h. The railjet is the premier service of the OBB and operates both domestically within Austria and on international services to adjacent countries. I’m going to write more about Railjet in the next entry from Vienna to Salzburg. In the meantime, let’s see what we experienced during our 2 hours and 33 minutes ride from Budapest to Vienna.

We don’t have much time to mingle at the Keleti station after the taxi dropped us from the K9 Residence. I wanted to hang out and zoom the Keleti train station using my long distance lenses but all ladies won’t allow me to do as the train shall be leaving in less than half an hour. We looked and found the Railjet no. 68, parked just at the first line from the entrance gate. We boarded and secured our luggage just next to our seat.

At the onset, we like everything about the Railjet. The clean train with modern facilities and the monitor updates, nothing can go wrong. There is mostly the Hungarian and the Austrian travelling along with us who can easily engaged a conversation with us in English. My 2 sisters shared the facing seat with 2 ladies whilst Anne and I were sharing with a lovely Austrian couple who were on their journey back to Innsbruck from visiting their daughter in Budapest.

They were keen to know how would we able to travel in Europe without a male companion as all of 4 are married with grown-up children’s.  I’ve given them white lies that we are in mid-life crisis and our children are too big to notice our 16days disappearance, hence, we decided to go vacation abroad as a change to Malaysian hot and humid weather. After all, what we learn from the train traveller, it is assuredly and guaranteed safe for a female from our country to travel solo. It started with a story of Anis, the solo traveller from Malaysia. You may also read her story in the link that I provided in here, "Five feet flat". They of course quite impressed that Malaysian husband is very sporting in allowing their wives to travel among the ladies.

The lady wife was given us a tip to try a local dish when in Vienna called, “Wienerschitzel” and or “Salzburger Nockerln” as it is guaranteed a halal dish for Muslim. Unfortunately we did not dine out the night we were in Vienna and having Apple straddle with awesome Croissant at Aida Café was something that we treasured so much the following day, we totally forgotten about the 2 recommended foods.

On arriving at Wein Westbahnhof, we immediately headed to a ticket counter to confirm our Railjet train no, 668 to Salzburg. At the same time, we also purchased another ticket to Munich. We chose train no. 79044 as recommended by our sifu and as per our firm itinerary to reach Munich city.

To be continued with beautiful city of Vienna....

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