04 September 2008

On riding the train

  1. Going between Prešov and Ružomberok on the train is a beautiful way to spend 2 and a half hours.
  2. A few days ago, I came across this website: Passing by
  3. Soon, I'm going to add my own videos to it.

View Larger Map

The train goes all through the Low Tatras and by the High Tatras. The High Tatras never cease to be dramatic, as they rise up from a plain and are visible for miles because nothing blocks the view of them. I remember the first time I came to Slovakia in 1992, and we landed at the Poprad airport with all of these (dare I say it?) majestic mountains all around. It was the best introduction possible to Slovakia.

The route takes about 2.5-3 hours, depending on whether or not it is necessary to transfer in Kysak or not. On Friday afternoons and Sunday afternoons, there is a direct train from Bratislava-Humenné via Prešov in order to accommodate the vast numbers of students who are coming home from uni. I can take the train on Sundays, but when I'm going back to the east on Wednesdays it takes a bit longer because I have to transfer.

The trains are mostly Intercity, and are divided into compartments. There is a bit of etiquette involved, maybe similar to the urinal code (though of course I can only imagine). When you find a compartment with people sitting in the correct arrangment, meaning at least one corner is free for you to be able to sit at, with the windows filling up first, you enter the compartment and say, "Je voľno to mesto?" - "Is this seat free?" even though it's already rather obvious that it is. Then when you get up to leave, you say "dovidenia" which is just super nice, kind of like how before you start eating, it's really important to say "dobru chut" - "buon appetito." This is what good manners are all about, for real.

No comments: