One thing I could say is that unless I am ever desperate again I will never use a sleeper train ever again in Europe. While trains are an amazing and efficient thing in the European zone, the assumption that the sleeper train would get you a good night rest while saving money on accommodation for one night and magically transporting you to the next destination it is more a misconception usually enforce with the idea that a Europe backpacking trip is not complete without a sleeper experience ….
|Sleeper Train from Krakow to Budapest|
I would concur that one would need to experience it to understand the subtle cruelty of the European train system. If you are fortunate that the overnight sleeper trains does not cover any tricky border crossing with immigration or customs checking than that is at least one problem relieved. I had one of those fortunately.
Travelling in summer means ….. the sleeper train is superbly hot …. I remember laying on that small compartment room with six narrow beds or bunks or a pad depending on one’s standards or ideal of a bed and recalling back my childhood days in Malaysia when we all had tried to sleep in the heatwave without air-conditioning nor a fan. The trick was to human fan yourself to sleep with a piece of cardboard and when you are tired enough even with sweat soaking the t-shirts and everything else one will finally find the bliss of sleeping in water. A feet not easily accomplish …. Unless one has a bad fewer.
I also suspected that the bed was probably infested with bed bugs …. Hence I was sleeping in jeans and long sleeve shirts despite how hot it was …. One could say it’s impossible, since they will change and clean the train … but when you are in the compartment, judge for yourself if you are willing to take the risk. Even without the chance of bedbugs the material used for the bed and blankets somehow seemed to be coated with itching powder …..
Good night sleep is a daydream fantasy on a sleeper train ….
Now if you can sleep on a moving train that clanks and shakes and vibrates, good for you …. And even better for the thief that will be watching out for that moment and carry your bag away at night. I was really most worried about the thieving bastards …. Hence all my luggage was place in a way it was not easily taken without shaking someone up …. The compartment was drastically small after all … one piece of advice … do not leave any luggage next to the door ….
I did made it to Budapest in one piece but for an 80 euro ticket it was really not worth the journey …. The couple in the same compartment even had a interail pass and still had to pay 35 euro for the reservation fee ….
In short … sleeper train = Expensive + No Sleep + Danger