The longest train ride of my life

The travel sub-editor shares her experiences on a long traind ride.

Lenka Minarovicova
2nd March 2022
Image: wikimedia
Back in 2019, when I was 18, I was lucky enough to win an Interrail ticket, which allowed me to travel for a month around the Europe for free. While the whole experience was incredible, the most memorable part remains to be the 23-hour long train ride from Warsaw to Bologna. So, let me tell you all about it!

As I am a rather introverted person, my original plan was to listen to music and ignore everyone, which was quite difficult since the person sat opposite to me was an elderly but still very talkative Polish lady. I don’t speak Polish, but my native tongue (Slovak) is somewhat similar. She told me all about her life, or at least tried, about how she’s on her way to visit her daughter, and I thought that she was such a precious being that I shall protect her at all costs, as we shared a part fo the journey. Later, a Czech lady joined us, and we were having a trilingual conversation, which was great fun, though it sounds like a beginning of a joke – a Slovak, a Czech and a Pole meet on a train…

The most memorable part remains to be the 23-hour long train ride

After failing my mission of accompanying the Polish lady to her destination, I met some more interesting people – a group of Spanish girls who were also travelling with an Interrail ticket, so I stroke up a conversation. A conversation in English despite my mediocre knowledge of Spanish. When we ran out of things to say, I could hear them talk about me in Spanish, which was already hilarious, but if you could see their faces when another friend of theirs came and started speaking to me in Spanish and I replied… I must say, it felt like a scene from a film.

Image: wikimedia

Another unforgettable moment was sleeping on train. Even though the seat would transform into a bed of sort, it was extremely uncomfortable, so I kept waking up throughout the night. It seems I wasn’t the only one, as some people even went out for a quick walk or a smoke during the stops, which, as they soon found out, was not really worth it. At about 3AM on Austrian-Italian borders, I was looking out of the window when the train moved. The next thing I saw were two horrified faces as the train passed by them. Fortunately for them, we started reversing to pick up the forgotten passengers, which resulted in a 2-hour delay. ♥

As everything in life, this trip had its ups and downs, but the fact that I still remember all these details with my poor memory says a lot. I was so glad that I overcame myself and spoke to strangers… and that I decided to stay in train until reaching my destination, so I encourage you to do the same.

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