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BS: Long train journey - advice

Penny S. 18 May 10 - 04:24 PM
GUEST,mg 18 May 10 - 05:14 PM
Jack Campin 18 May 10 - 05:50 PM
Jack Campin 18 May 10 - 06:21 PM
Rapparee 18 May 10 - 09:51 PM
mg 18 May 10 - 10:51 PM
Jack Campin 19 May 10 - 05:30 AM
Penny S. 19 May 10 - 08:40 AM
McGrath of Harlow 19 May 10 - 09:18 AM
The Sandman 19 May 10 - 09:37 AM
Jack Campin 19 May 10 - 09:55 AM
mg 19 May 10 - 11:02 AM
wysiwyg 19 May 10 - 01:28 PM
Jack Campin 19 May 10 - 07:26 PM
GUEST,David E. 19 May 10 - 08:08 PM
open mike 20 May 10 - 06:30 AM
GUEST,leeneia 20 May 10 - 09:01 PM
GUEST,Guest, DaveA 20 May 10 - 09:27 PM
mg 20 May 10 - 09:43 PM
GUEST,Guest, DaveA 21 May 10 - 02:20 AM
Jack Campin 21 May 10 - 05:04 AM
Penny S. 21 May 10 - 05:29 AM
Penny S. 21 May 10 - 05:58 AM
Bonzo3legs 21 May 10 - 07:17 AM
GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere) 21 May 10 - 11:23 AM
catspaw49 21 May 10 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,mg 21 May 10 - 12:53 PM
Jack Campin 21 May 10 - 02:40 PM
GUEST,mg 21 May 10 - 03:39 PM
Penny S. 22 May 10 - 01:47 PM
Penny S. 22 May 10 - 02:36 PM
Doug Chadwick 23 May 10 - 03:52 AM
wysiwyg 23 May 10 - 08:40 PM
Penny S. 24 May 10 - 02:29 PM
Jack Campin 24 May 10 - 03:08 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 24 May 10 - 03:23 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 24 May 10 - 03:25 PM
Penny S. 25 May 10 - 03:40 AM
Gweltas 26 May 10 - 02:57 AM
Penny S. 02 Jun 10 - 04:33 PM
Jack Campin 02 Jun 10 - 08:34 PM
Penny S. 03 Jun 10 - 03:21 AM
GUEST,Bill the Collie 03 Jun 10 - 04:44 AM
Penny S. 03 Jun 10 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,Guest, DaveA 03 Jun 10 - 05:51 PM
Penny S. 07 Jun 10 - 05:10 PM
Penny S. 07 Jun 10 - 05:27 PM
Penny S. 15 Jun 10 - 02:07 PM
Micca 15 Jun 10 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,Jim Martin 16 Jun 10 - 06:54 AM

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Subject: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Penny S.
Date: 18 May 10 - 04:24 PM

At the end of June I'm travelling from England to Istanbul by train - several changes and sleeping compartments involved. It seemed like a good idea, rather than flying, because I don't fancy losing out on a cruise because of a bit of volcanic dust. Has anyone any advice about such a journey? Clothing, food, security, etc?

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 18 May 10 - 05:14 PM

Don't get in a compartment alone. Put a spare credit card in your shoe. Wear your valuables as securely as possible. Don't have valuables in a fanny pack or purse etc. Take toilet paper. Preferably take a toilet. Refuse any offers of help with your luggage. Take food with you.   The only place I had trouble was Italy but it could have been serious. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 May 10 - 05:50 PM

I've done Istanbul-Budapest by train (in the 90s), Istanbul-Thessaloniki in 1981, Prague-Kosice three years ago and Budapest-Romania and back last year, so I have some experience of trains in that part of the world.

Think about when you'll be crossing borders and how much hassle it's likely to be before deciding to take a sleeper. I found it was more trouble to get to sleep with ticket and passport checks in the small hours round the Hungarian-Romanian border when in a sleeper than it was in a compartment with three other people. In the sleeper I was sharing with a guy who was chugging down industrial quantities of Red Bull and arranging what seemed to be drug deals on his mobile; with more people in the sit-up car, there was more normality.

Gizmos for securing your luggage and cycle locks to fasten the compartment door are worth it. I've never encountered any theft on a train but you'll sleep better. Get the window seat if you can, you'll be disturbed less.

The Istanbul-Budapest ride had the largest cultural divides. The food and service within Turkey was great, but the restaurant car stayed there and wasn't replaced. The Bulgarian guard tried to do me out of my change for the visa and pretended not to understand anything I said (shouting loud enough in Turkish for the whole carriage to hear got results). Part of the train was going to Poland, where there was a toilet paper shortage, so the Polish passengers nicked all the TP in every carriage while they had the chance.

Knowing German will help (and French in Romania), but Hungarian staff are quite likely to understand no language but their own. Carry a notepad for doodling and be prepared to wave your hands a lot.

I've no idea what you'll encounter in Serbia, if that's on your route. It was completely unproblematic when I did it, but that was before NATO blew the place to buggery.

I email scans of my passport, tickets and insurance documents to my own webmail account so I can get at them if I lose the paper.

Eastern European trains can go from far too hot to far too cold within minutes. Carry inflatable cushions, bags to stuff with clothes, things that will serve as blankets (I carry both a Palestinian scarf and a Kilt Towel, they both have many uses). Lightweight clothing with lots of inner and secure pockets is helpful - I use Rohan or similar kit and don't care if I look a bit geeky.

Carry a spare mobile, make sure they'll both work wherever you are, ensure you can keep them charged and in credit, and know what the local inward international dialling codes are.

You don't usually need to carry a large stock of food and water, if you have the right money to buy it at stations.

I'll PM you an idea I don't want to make public.


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 May 10 - 06:21 PM

And: get a pair of binoculars that actually work (for you) from a moving vehicle. You'll see all kinds of interesting stuff. A camera is not so useful, unless both you and it have millisecond response times. I use a pair of heavy WW2-era British military binoculars that make me look like Monty planning an attack from a tank turret at El Alamein, but they give a very steady image.


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Rapparee
Date: 18 May 10 - 09:51 PM

For goodness sakes, be sure you have your towel!


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: mg
Date: 18 May 10 - 10:51 PM

I would consider shipping your cruise clothing to Istanbul if the price is not horrible and taking a knapsack of older clothes that you wouldn't mind if they got dirty, ruined. etc. from travel. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 May 10 - 05:30 AM

I'd missed the bit about the cruise - that's a good idea. (I usually travel with only what I can carry). Perhaps the cruise company could arrange shipping? Or alternatively look at it as an excuse to do some clothes shopping in Istanbul (the shops in Sisli should have anything you'd want for even the most upmarket one). But remember you'll probably want to get those clothes back.


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Penny S.
Date: 19 May 10 - 08:40 AM

Thanks for all the advice.

Being European, the only visa stop is the Turkish border (in the night, but online advice is it's not too much of a problem.) I'm not taking too much for the cruise, capsule wardrobe stuff, a smallish trolley case. I'm assuming the sleepers will be women only - and I'll complain if not - so drug dealers are unlikely (though not impossible - a Vietnamese woman was involved with the dealing outside my old home.)

Unfortunately, my languages are minimal - I was planning to get a few Turkish phrases from the kebab shop! And see if I could track down my Hungarian ex-neighbour. I'm glad French works in Rumania.

I would love to get Rohan type stuff. But they assume that half the human race doesn't want it - they don't even go up as far as average size, and the staff weren't very helpful when I tried shopping there. But I'll see if I can manage something like it.

Like the email suggestion, and the phones. I think I'll stick to the camera, which I will need for the geology later (I can do photos of flying bluetits so the same technique should work the other way.) I'm trying to keep weight down, and my bins are not light.

This has given me plenty to think about.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 May 10 - 09:18 AM

Always carry a roll of toilet paper. But then that's a Basic Life rule in any unfamiliar situation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 May 10 - 09:37 AM

take a harmonica.


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 May 10 - 09:55 AM

Romanian border guards like to check passports, with the greatest possible thoroughness, delay and inconvenience, and you wanting to get back to sleep doesn't feature in their priorities.

You won't learn enough Hungarian to be any use in a few weeks, though learning how to pronounce it will help (simple enough). Turkish is a lot easier.


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: mg
Date: 19 May 10 - 11:02 AM

I would not assume anything about the women being all paragons of virtue. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 May 10 - 01:28 PM

US stores have a non-fridge tofu. Same as chilled, bioxed tofu but packed airlessly/sans water. Keeps a long time in the box, unopened.

Holds 3 servings-- thus, easy to eat up in a day before it goes bad.

Mix with canned or dried fruit and it gets a flavor. Staple item for us whenever there is no fridge/cooking possible, mixed with instant oatmeal, canned veggie soup, fresh salad natter, raisins....

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 May 10 - 07:26 PM

Cooking is sometimes possible. I have once seen a campstove used on a train - coming back to Glasgow from the Highlands when we were stopped by a landslip. We obviously weren't going anywhere for a couple of hours so some guys who'd been camping brewed up hot drinks for a few of us.

But, you're likely to have long enough stops to buy stuff at stations or even get off for a meal, there's no need to prepare like the Franklin expedition. The schedule will tell you. I can recommend the restaurant at Budapest Keleti if you have time to use it, and the on-board catering on the higher-class Prague-Bratislava train (which is so cheap there is no need to consider the others).

A thermos might be an idea. Romanian train coffee is well worth avoiding.

I just remembered I *have* encountered theft on a train - I was robbed on the DART in Dublin (two guys jumped in at Howth Junction and grabbed my bag). But not on one going any distance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: GUEST,David E.
Date: 19 May 10 - 08:08 PM

Reading these posts brings to mind what I always say to my wife:

"And THIS is better than staying home?"

David E.


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: open mike
Date: 20 May 10 - 06:30 AM

i would recommend bringing snacks....such as trail mix and dried fruit, and a bottle of water. train food tends to be expensive,
in my experience. and sometimes served at times when you are not
even hungry. but i have only been on trains in U.S.and Canada.


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 20 May 10 - 09:01 PM

Are you an experienced traveller? Tough, confident, resilient?

If you are not, I suggest postponing the trip.

I have travelled quite a bit, and to me it sounds like a tiresome, tiring, worrisome journey.


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: GUEST,Guest, DaveA
Date: 20 May 10 - 09:27 PM

I've done this trip (or at least from Vienna to Istanbul) in both directions in 2008. Essesntially, the further east you get the more "interesting" the trains become.
Things can get grim after Bucharest as the sleeping cars are pretty old (don't even think of the passenger cars or even the couchettes) & the trains NEVER run on time!
This isn't a problem going to Istanbul as long as you don't have anything planned for the day of your arrival.
It can be on the way back as there are only two night trains from Bucharest to Budapest. The earlier connection (for the much better train - the Ister) at about 7:00 you won't make and sometimes the later one (about 10:00) you may not make either or it may be booked out. My advice is to book a hotel for that night and next day explore a bit before catching the Ister that night.
You will need to stock up on food & drink for the Istanbul - Bucharest leg. There isn't a restaurant or buffet car and the catering at stations is a bit hit & miss. You do NOT want to drink any tap water on the train. Also, the toilet situation can be diabolical. The conductor I talked to explained that they usually run out of flushing water after about 6 hours!!!
And just to complete the aggravation, the Border stop is non trivial. Expect to be off the train for nearly an hour which can be even longer if the staff aren't there when the train arrives.
But it is an adventure as long as you:
1/   Get a sleeping compartment to yourself
2/   Bring enough food, water & booze AND reading material
3/   Approach it realistically rather than expecting West Europe comfort
4/   Don't get fussed at delays & language difficulties

And finally, you should go to Seat61.com and read the section on Turkey. This is the best train travel website I know and has most of what you'll need including prices, how to book etc etc

Good luck

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: mg
Date: 20 May 10 - 09:43 PM

Can you buy a compartment to yourself? If not, you just see one empty and decide to go for it, I think that is putting yourself in danger, especially for a woman. Some of the train staff can be creepy too. I would find a compartment that has a couple of women already or a family with screaming kids but I would not take an empty compartment if people were able to join me. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: GUEST,Guest, DaveA
Date: 21 May 10 - 02:20 AM

Compartments have to be booked (at a separate charge from the actual train ticket).
You can book a compartment as a 1 bed (the most expensive), or a 2 or 3 bed (cheaper). In the case of a 2 or 3 bed booking, you share with another person of the same sex.
Couchettes are a bit different. They are 6 berth compartments (mixed genders) and you don't undress to sleep!
Typically, you have to have a 1st Class ticket to book a sleeper, and a 2nd Class ticket to book a bed in a couchette.
So, it's not the open slather you think. And, there is a conductor per carriage and although he may not speak much English he's normally pretty good at keeping non booked people out of the sleeping car (& even selling you a luke warm beer if you run out)

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 May 10 - 05:04 AM

My experience of Romanian and Hungarian trains is that they are bang on time to the nearest minute and much more reliable than British ones.

Remeber that the train she'll be getting to Istanbul is an international one, which will be higher standard than the ones that do local trips.

The sleeping car I got to Romania in 2008 was more comfortable than a British one. The problem was the amount of disturbance caused by passport checks and the Red Bull guy - if I'd realized this was going to happen I'd have tried to travel at a different time so the border crossing was during the day (I'm not sure if that's possible). I slept much better in the ordinary six-seat cabin, which had three other passengers, though the seats were very hard.

One potential problem - getting on and off Continental trains involves climbing straight up from the trackside on a ladder (US trains did the same when I was there). For a British passenger this feels like something out of an old movie. Disabled people need help being lifted on, and somebody who doesn't fit the standard sizes of Rohan clothing might be in that category. Trains don't stop for long at stations, either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Penny S.
Date: 21 May 10 - 05:29 AM

The return is from Venice, and is booked. I've got a whole day for boarding the ship in Istanbul, plus a day of tours the next before leaving. The ship is booked, so no can do putting off. The trains are booked as far as Budapest - I'm waiting for a call back on the last legs (via Seat61 - thanks for the confirmation on the quality of that.)

Perhaps Rohan have changed its sizing, but they stopped at British 14 when I went, and above that is still normal for quite a few sizes. (16 is average, but 14 still translates as large. I think these sizes translate to US as 14UK=12US, 16UK=14US) I can manage climbing, thank you. ;-)

Thanks for all the advice - towel and loo paper added to list. My sister suggested baby wipes and panty liners, as well.

I do have a day in Budapest, so restaurant information will be welcome, as well as any advice on things to see.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Penny S.
Date: 21 May 10 - 05:58 AM

OK, they have changed their sizing - what a pity their assistant was so rude that day that I never looked them up again. New gripe, though - why only men get the multipocketed jacket? I'm off to the military surplus store to see what they have.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 21 May 10 - 07:17 AM

My advice - take a plane!


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere)
Date: 21 May 10 - 11:23 AM

Ash. Unpredictable. Last minute bookings expensive and possibly not possible.

I have bouaght a pockety waistcoat from the local Army Surplus store. (I'm not sure which army things are surplus to) £25, as compared to Rohan's £145 or therabouts. I haven't kep in touch with them, by the way, not out of continued pique, but because I didn't need that sort of stuff any more.

I have a rigid trolley case with locks. It is pink, which I would not have chosen, but it was £25 in a sale, and anyway, I think it may be a deterrent. Any bloke witha pink trolley?

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 May 10 - 11:39 AM

Take an Agatha Christie mystery..........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 21 May 10 - 12:53 PM

There are plenty of women thieves who would love a pink trolley. And anyone could take a can of spray paint and have it black in a minute. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 May 10 - 02:40 PM

My fave haunt in Budapest is the Castro Bisztro in Madach tér - friendly vaguely-alternative coffee/wine bar that does good food, has free internet terminals, and a pile of interesting leaflets about what's on.

There is a restaurant at the top of the cog railway that specializes in offal. Friendly place, good value, interesting food and a good view on the way up.

Another good view is walking up to Buda from the end of the Chain Bridge.

The Ethnographic Museum has some good stuff. Essential if you want to know where Bartók was coming from.


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 21 May 10 - 03:39 PM

I was in Budapest and the food was awesome. Just looking at it. Lemons the size of watermelons almost. Beautiful peppers. Every home was a garden. Every farm was a botanical masterpiece..and this was right after communism. I suspect they are the world's best gardeners but I could be wrong. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Penny S.
Date: 22 May 10 - 01:47 PM

More fun. There is a break in the line near the Turkish border due to floods and tunnel damage. I may end up flying the last leg after all.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Penny S.
Date: 22 May 10 - 02:36 PM

Meanwhile, I have a puzzle about my waistcoat. It has many pockets at the front, inside and out, of various sizes, zipped or velcro'd. Round the back, between the waist level and the bottom, is a pocket the full width of the back, closed with two press studs to the sides, and velcro in the middle. Clearly not for anything secure. Why would anyone want a pocket over their buttocks? All i can think of is it's being for a folded towel (HG style) which would provide lumbar suport when seated. Or, if it were designed for a woman, protection from goosing. Anyone really know what this is for?

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 23 May 10 - 03:52 AM

US stores have a non-fridge tofu. Same as chilled, bioxed tofu but packed airlessly/sans water. Keeps a long time in the box, unopened.

As far as I'm concerned, that's the way it should stay - in the box, unopened. Polysrtyrene lasts longer and tastes much the same.


DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: wysiwyg
Date: 23 May 10 - 08:40 PM

Perfect travel towel, blanket, skirt......

5 yards of cheap cotton flannel. Packs light, dries fast, multi-use.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Penny S.
Date: 24 May 10 - 02:29 PM

I haven't seen flannel in a fabric shop for yonks. I haven't seen what I really think of as a fabric shop for yonks, either. A few small shops mostly specialising in quilt fabrics. John Lewis mostly specialising in occasion wear fabrics. Even the Indian shops are diminishing in number.

Meanwhile, i think I have sussed the back pocket. A lot of sites advocate wearing the pouch of that sort of money belt in the small of the back, ensuring that the strap has wire in it to avoid its being cut. If that were what I was doing, carrying anything in it would render it hard for the aspiring pickpocket to get to the pouch beneath.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 May 10 - 03:08 PM

I have seen a guy wearing a multi-pocket waistcoat like that where the back pocket came all the way up to his shoulders. Made of extra-heavy bright orange cordura.

He was a geologist and that back pocket was a built-in backpack for rock samples.

I have an even more mysterious item of clothing. A pair of Rohan-like tough-nylon lined trousers with a zip below waist level at the back providing one enormous pocket across the bum, covering both buttocks. It would hold a large book or a small cat, but it's not sensibly placed to fit a cushion. Anyone know what it might have been for? (They'd work for a geologist who wanted to walk around with an arseful of rocks, but you'd need heavy-duty braces to hold them up).


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 24 May 10 - 03:23 PM

a small camping towel would seem a good idea for general stuff, they come in their .
Dried whole bananas are a great munchie, though they look like harvested mummy fingers - I use them hiking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 24 May 10 - 03:25 PM

Edit: [camping hand towels] come in their own little pouch. They dry really quick too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Penny S.
Date: 25 May 10 - 03:40 AM

My goodness, the mind boggles on the rock samples weighing down on the back like that.

I heard a tale from the British geological grapevine. There was a tutor who took his students on major route marches to various outcrops, weighed them down with various hand specimens, and, I seem to remember, denied them the chance for breaks at suitable watering places. One lunchtime he dozed off on the ground, and the students gathered a number of rubbishy bits of who-knew-what to load into his backpack. When he woke, amusement was denied, as he went on without commenting on the increased load. When the practical exam arrived, he had his revenge. Those strange rocks they had so merrily used as ballast turned up for identification.

More difficult with something he was wearing.

I have some little zip bags for the Santorini visit - it'll be quite easy to slip them into that bum pocket - but I'll have to remember not to sit down. Not too heavy though, pumice.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Gweltas
Date: 26 May 10 - 02:57 AM

Hi Penny S,
Please check your PMs, 'cos I have sent you a PM regarding your trip.
Best wishes,
Anne XX.


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Penny S.
Date: 02 Jun 10 - 04:33 PM

The last part of the trip is now going to be a flight, as there have been floods which have damaged the line between Bucharest and Turkey. Shucks, I'm going to have to take account of all that stuff about what is allowed...

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Jun 10 - 08:34 PM

Is the line through Serbia still out of action?

There will be buses between Bucharest and Istanbul (or Sofia - where's the break in the line?).

A considerably more adventurous route would be to go to Constanta and get a ferry. They're probably about once a week in summer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Penny S.
Date: 03 Jun 10 - 03:21 AM

Timing for the last leg is critical, and coach or ferry would be too slow (had thought of it). The latest on the only place I can find out about the blockage (Seat61) is that it may be several months. Since a tunnel collapse is involved, and Higham tunnel in Kent was out over a year, I'm not surprised. I had hoped it was just a small collapse at the entrance, but it isn't worth waiting and gambling on repair sooner. And then I'm going to be completely unadventurous and stay at an airport chain hotel, so I can meet my companion there next day, and use the cruise transport. (And use the washer dryer for undies.)

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: GUEST,Bill the Collie
Date: 03 Jun 10 - 04:44 AM

And please take all precautions to avoid the ABBA tribute groups on the cruise


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Penny S.
Date: 03 Jun 10 - 08:01 AM

Unlikely to be necessary - this cruise is based round a study of Byzantium, with guest lecturers!

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: GUEST,Guest, DaveA
Date: 03 Jun 10 - 05:51 PM

Latest news from Mark Smith of Seat61 is that the line will re-open on June 20th.
Does that fit with your plans?


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Penny S.
Date: 07 Jun 10 - 05:10 PM

It would be fine, but as last week it was proposing several months, time was short for a plane booking, and I am now booked on Turkish Airlines for the hop from Bucharest to Istanbul, arriving a day early.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Penny S.
Date: 07 Jun 10 - 05:27 PM

I'm gradually getting all my bits together.

Today flipflops for wearing in showers (sister's advice) from TKMax, and a small coin purse from a charity shop that I won't mind losing. (I lost a very nice useful one in Rome, with various cards and stuff.) I'm charging up my MP3 player so I can listen to recorded radio plays and things - I usually go to sleep with BBC World Service on a pillow speaker, and I won't be able to get it, apparently, where we are going.

I'm still havering about my netbook - I don't really want to take anything I would mind losing, and a very old Palm Pilot I bought in a sale is the most electronics I am thinking of at the moment. That, internet cafes, and I think there is access on the ship (but I'll check on that, I know there's wifi.)

And I'm busy stitching away, at a pair of shalwar type loose trousers (take up tiny space, and no problem if creased), and another project.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Penny S.
Date: 15 Jun 10 - 02:07 PM

Getting closer - and the weather forecast is for heavy rain in mitteleurope - 200mm.

Meanwhile, advice has arrived with my cruise documents, suggesting I don't carry my camera in an expensive looking bag. I do want to do proper photography, not just point and shoot. Any ideas?

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: Micca
Date: 15 Jun 10 - 05:38 PM

PennyS I find Tilly endurables much better than Rohan, they are, unfortunately , very expensive, but are very hard wearing and durable the trousers have 6 velcro fastened pockets and have a concealed pocket inside the ordinary right hand pocket closed with velcro suitable for bank cards and paper money and is not noticeble to an inserted hand (ie Pickpocket)
I would be very interested in seeing any Santorini pix!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Long train journey - advice
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 16 Jun 10 - 06:54 AM

When I travelled to Greece by sleeper nearly 30 yrs ago, my friend's wife had her small hand bag with valuables stolen when we were asleep, people we spoke to reckoned it was a common occurence passing through the former Yugoslavia where the train stopped a number of times and made it easy for the locals to hop on and off. It was reckoned that they were using small cans of gas and ensuring that their victims really were asleep before conducting their misdeeds, certainly we were completely unaware of anything untowards until we woke up! She had the hand bag securely (she thought) underneath her pillow! Train staff did not seem to be helpful (including police on the train) and we did half wonder if there was an element of corruption going on between the train staff and the locals. I have also travelled alone to Bulgaria but not for 17 yrs, I wouldn't dream of doing it now! Many people reckon bus travel between Turkey and Bulgaria is safer and more reliable than by train.


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