Belgium to Macedonia & Everywhere Inbetween – The Transport
Once i had decided i was going travelling and that i was determined to go to Skopje in Macedonia (an inexplainable feeling but one that had to be followed) there was the question of how i was going to get there. I didn’t want to just fly…where was the adventure in that? The next logical thought was trains (my desire to drive went out the window the moment the petrol prices went up not to mention the thought of driving all that way) or a bus…then it was a case of where to start and where to go in between?
Much time spent on rome2rio.com and many frustrating hours arguing with various travel websites and i had a rough idea of how i was getting there, it then prompted me to by myself a map as this was infinitely easier than using google maps to aid me.
As i wanted to go by train my best plan was a train to Brussels which pleased me as i had wanted to go for some time, as the Eurostar leaves from London it did mean a bus journey from my home town but this was not wholly expensive (although distressingly slow it turned out due to unforeseen circumstances)
Where to next was an interesting one, inspired by the Eurostar website and my desire to go Cologne was next on the agenda less than 3 hours on the train.
Next stop Frankfurt and thanks to the brilliant Flixbus only 7euros which not only had wifi but was comfortable for the 3 or so hours I was travelling.
After Frankfurt a cheeky diversion to Prague via train a quick clean and efficient service which involved a train and a coach both fully equipped with wifi.
Prague to Vienna by train is beautiful because you get to see the gorgeous countryside in between the places you are travelling from and to, a clean efficient service not the newest of trains but it had phone charging facilities at least.
Vienna to Budapest was another EC Czech trains which served us very well, limited wifi and phone charging facilities were useful although i did sleep most of the way.
Budapest to Belgrade a special offer meant that the train was only 15euros even if it was 2nd class it was a complete bargain considering the distance i would be covering, the compartments were compact but i had some interesting conversations over the 6 hour journey.
Belgrade to Sofia – due to departure times and a desire for safety over everything else i opted to fly considering i booked the flight at 2 days notice it was less than £100, a bargain in the scheme of things.
Sofia to Skopje – Travelling by bus seemed to be becoming a theme with this trip but as there were no trains and the flights were extortionate, plus the bus was only 16euros it was hard to argue with that logic.
How to get home you ask? Having arrived at my destination of choice i could have flown straight back home from Skopje, this might have been a cheaper idea but i still had time left from the month allocated…i searched for flights back on my last day…Ryanair from Treviso for 45euros it had to be done, although it meant a slightly expensive detour but it was also an excellent excuse to go to Venice, fortunately the flight from Skopje to Treviso was also cheap so that went some way to justifying my detour (other than i will do as i please)
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