Our last full day in budapest was to a certain extent a case of 'hurry up and wait' as the lure of venice was proving very exciting. Having only had four hours sleep, most of our day was spent relaxing, although dan and ben spent a little time seeing the parliament buildings in the day light. By four o'clock we were on our way to the train station for the night train. On first viewing the train appeared to be in worse condition compared to the other night trains we had caught. However, once we got inside things improved somewhat. The train set off at five. It's safe to say our enthusiasm for night trains had dwindled somewhat and we all anticipated a long night ahead. The hungarians/croatians/slovenians/italians didn't disappoint. The train made slow progress on the rickety old tracks and we stopped at several hamlets throughout outer hungary before reaching the croat border.
Cue scenes of procrastination galore as the hungarian border guards first checked over passports with little fuss, followed by the croatians checking passports for those getting off. Great we thought, we're off. Not so! The croatian border guards checked everyone elses passports on the train as well, even though nobody on the train had any intention of getting off in croatia and we'd be in slovenia soon. Saying the border guards were polite but firm is probably a fair explanation of how we were treated as eddie was asked to sit down and dan and ben were asked their last names after their passports were checked. Some night say it was unnecessary given the fact we clearly weren't staying in croatia but such is life. Contrast this to the italian and slovenian border guards and the difference is evident. Anyway, our train journey resumed and the beds were put in place by the friendly conductor.
A broken nights sleep followed as we tried to keep the cabin cool but also quiet enough to sleep in. As mentioned earlier, a further set of border guard checks took place as we reached ljubliana. The train stopped at several random stations at regular intervals, slamming the breaks on everytime. Patience was running thin. To rub salt into the wounds dan worked out it would only take five hours in his or eddies car- a third of the time on the train! Finally we rocked up at venice at around seven in the morning relieved, tired and excited.