We’ve had some … interesting … overnight train experiences so far on our trip. Most have not been pleasant, some were merely tolerable. When it came time to head back to Bucharest to catch our flight to Athens we had a few different travel options available to us.
The bus would have taken about 8 or 9 hours from Cluj-Napoca, a rental car about the same, but both would have taken all day. Rental car would have cost a bit more with the drop-off fee, but would have given more freedom. The third options was the train, all day or overnight. We the adventurous, never afraid to step outside our comfort zone, were afraid. We took the leap.
The Overnight Train
Wow! Amazing! Terrific!
Carpeted, clean, a door that closes and locks! Imagine the luxury. Four berths in a closed compartment with clean sheets, pillows, duvets even!
The bathroom was not pristine, but considering the train had been underway for 6 hours or more before we got on, not bad. There was even a bar / restaurant car which was closed when we got on. We could (in theory) have gotten up early and had breakfast, but obviously we let the kids sleep as long as possible.
Without any doubt, it was the best sleep we’ve ever had on a train. No vomiting, no diarrhea, everyone slept well. Miracles do exist!
The train arrived and departed about 30 minutes late from Cluj. This worked in our favour, since it pushed the arrival in Bucharest back by almost an hour (we lost some more time along the way, I guess). It’s definitely better to arrive at 8:30 than 7:30 when check-in is not until 1 PM.
We even had climate control and windows that open! All in all, our faith in overnight train travel is restored.