It took us 39 hours to get home from Eastern Europe. We left the guesthouse in Sarajevo at 6 in the morning, and I unlocked my front door in Copenhagen at 21 the following day. I think that journey falls into the category called 'It's a good story once we get home'. But then again, it ain't travelling unless you go through several crises and unexpected elements.
We were so happy when we boarded the train in Sarajevo; we had our own compartment (luxury!), and although the window was too fogged for us to look out, we installed ourselves and took a little nap. We would, after all, be here the next 11 hours... When we woke up an hour later, there was 50 degrees inside (not kidding) and no air. People were running down the hall with desperate faces gasping for a little air. The windows could barely open, and it was only just tolerable standing in the crack. We tried to be practical and sit very still, but I panicked a little.
Things looked better a couple of very sweaty, humid and uncomfortable hours later when AnCa convinced a non-English-speaking Croat to let us sit in her compartment. Here, the windows opened a little, and there was an actual exchange of air - hooray! So we were two swollen, thankful ladies that spent the first half hour standing with our heads out the window. Bliss!
Around 14, the train made a stop at yet another border where we had to show our passports and tickets for the sixth time. AnCa took a shot and ran out for supplies. I don't think I've ever been happier to get water. Silly girls had only brought half a litre for an 11 hour trainride with no options for buying on the train. Luckily, the Croat lady in our compartment gave us her last water before getting off at a little station in the middle of some scorched fields. But now AnCa also supplied us with ice cream!
When we arrived in Pècs in Hungary, the train was delayed and would be at the station for two hours before continuing to Budapest = we would miss our night train to Berlin. The lady at the information almost cried when we told her our story, and she promised to help us - which she forgot... In Budapest, there was an insane thunder storm, but we managed to find a night train for Munich.
AnCa slipped in some mud and had to run into a little shop to change clothes, and we barely had time to get money for food - we hadn't eaten for hours. We bought two rolls with sausage and some candy (and water!) and couldn't wait to perhaps get some sleep. But when the train rolled into the station, it was packed. And to top it off, it was all red-faced, drunk middle aged men shouting and howling as we tried to squeeze into the train. I almost cried. But after having ignored their offers to have sex with us in the bathroom, we managed to find two empty seats in a compartment (!!!) and thought ourselves the luckiest in the world. Until the train stopped for two hours in Vienna in the dead of night because of a Madonna concert. And a family joined us in our compartment, talking and talking making us unable to sleep.
So when we arrived in Munich in the morning, we were grumpy and tired-tired-tired... After a coffee, we were lucky enough to score some tickets on the train for Hamburg, where there was air condidtion and comfy seats.
But alas, the journey hadn't ended yet. Because when we came to Hamburg, the train for Copenhagen was over-booked. We were lucky, though, and managed to get a seat, so we could take turns sitting there and on the floor. We were also lucky to have found this seat in the part of the train where the air condition was working...
So when we got off the train in Copenhagen as the sun was coming down, I couldn't wait to get home to my bed.... But despite the long journey home, the trip itself had been a m a z i n g.