Night trains aren’t sleeping night trains if they require more than three major changeovers, especially if those change overs require more than an hour’s wait at a station before the next train comes.
Grumpy, sleep-deprived and sore I arrived in Brasov after a delay in Gorna, Ruse, and Bucharest (eww). Leaving Brasov to come to Belgrade was just as bad…no wait…it was worse, but I’ll touch on that later.
Bulgarian trains are the way to travel, more comfortable and much more spacious than buses. They have the cabin layout on almost all of their trains, so a seat actually represents a bench seat in a cabin (much better than big commuter style airline seats). This factor combined with half empty trains yields plenty of space to lay down and stretch out. Nice. Cut out the transfers and you’re good.
Brasov to Beograd I was trapped in a commuter-style train stuffed to the brink with seats. There was little room and less comfort. To top it off, the train was stuffed with Romeni (gypsies). Paranoid about my gear, stuffed into small seats and uncomfortable I spent my first eight hour leg awake from 8pm until 3am. I caught my connection to Timisoara Nord at 3:15 arriving at 4:35 am and then my second connection to Beograd at 4:55 (5:55 Romanian time). At 8:55 we passed through Belgrade without stopping. Starting at the farthest suburb of Belgrade we worked our way back into the city arriving two hours later at Belgrade central. I’d met six Danes traveling together and joined in with them on their quest to find a hostel.
Green Studio Hostel located, we dropped our gear and I went out on a quest to discover Beograd.