Niamh's Interrail Diary Part 7 - Change of Plans and the Budapest Interrail Summer Party!
Our first major disaster of the holiday struck in Croatia!! We left Lake Bled at 8 in the morning to get a shuttle to bring us to Rijeka in Croatia as this is where we had to get a ferry to bring us to the Island of Novaljia. We arrived in Rijeka around 11 o clock and made our way to the ticket office for the ferry. Panic struck when we were told all ferries were cancelled for the day due to a massive storm which was due to hit later that evening! We made our way over to the bus company which also ran buses to the island. They had two buses running that day one at 2p.m which was sold out and one at 6p.m which we bought tickets for.
So then we had a 7 hour wait in Rijeka with all of our luggage! We made our way to a restaurant and bought food and also to get some wifi to let our families and friends know what was going on. It was a long 7 hour wait which involved a few games of eye spy to get us through the boredom of the day! Eventually we made our way to the bus which involved a 2 hour drive and then a connection which was to take another hour. When we arrived at the first stop to make our connection we were informed that the second bus was an hour late. So another hour wait in the wind and rain! We could see the storm was starting to pick up already. Eventually we made it to the ferry which was supposed to bring the bus over to the island to see the crew lowering the anchor into the water and closing up the ship. We were told that there was no way we would be going to the island tonight!
So at 10 o clock at night we had nowhere to stay, in the middle of a storm and no plan whatsoever. We were told our options were to get a bus back to Rijeka 3 hours from where we had just travelled or to Zagreb another 5 hours away and that we had to locate our own places to stay! We were all tired and close to tears at this stage! We decided to go back to Rijeka as we had been told the storm could last a few days and they didn't even know whether we could get to the island tomorrow. We decided the best thing to do was to get a train straight to Budapest in the morning at 6 a.m, as there was no guarantee of making it to the island at all. This involved another 6 hour wait with nowhere to stay except an open bus shelter as the train station didn't open until 5a.m. We then took the train to Budapest, another 10 hours of travelling! 36 hours of travelling and we eventually made it to Budapest 3 days earlier than originally planned
So we finally arrived in Budapest, exhausted and hungry and we just wanted to sleep! We managed to book an apartment for two nights at the last minute called Lord Residence. It was in an ideal central location within walking distance of the shopping centers and also the main square. The staff were very friendly and took the time to explain where would be nice to go for food/drinks/sightseeing etc. The interior of the apartments themselves was amazing and it was exactly what we needed after all our travelling.
After sending a few emails to our friends at Iarnród Éireann and explaining our catastrophe they managed to get in contact with the event organisers of the Interrail Summer Boat Party and got our names on the guest list! Our luck was finally turning around and we were off to the party of the summer in Budapest on the A38 boat
We arrived at approximately 21.30 and the queue was already very long to get inside! We queued for about 20 minutes and we finally made it on board. Inside the boat itself was very well done up with around 3 different levels to choose from on the boat. On the upper level of the boat there was a stage with a huge dance floor facing the stage with tables and chairs circling the dance floor. It was quite quiet until around 23.30/00.00 when the big crowds of party goers arrived to the A38 and the acts started playing!
The atmosphere really picked up around this time on the boat and we met a load of other Interrailers and people who were also travelling to Sziget Festival! We all had a highly enjoyable night and I would recommend this to anyone who is in Budapest next summer as it is a great way to meet other Interrailers and share different experiences of your travels!