Wherever we can, we try to take a train. In Poland people told us several times that trains are slow, expensive and uncomfortable. Well, I don’t agree….
It’s true that in Poland trains are slow, mainly because they usually stop at every possible train station, quite often for as long as half an hour and they can’t go very fast (60 km/h is good). In the Baltic States the train network is quite poor, with infrequent trains and not many train lines.
Still, there are so many advantages…
– In a train you can: eat, drink, sleep, read, go to the toilet, walk around, talk to somebody, talk to nobody, look out of the window at the nice countryside, play cards, re-organise your backpack, buy a coffee from the lady who passes in the corridor, take photos, read your guidebook.
– In a train you’re not in the hands of a half-criminal driver (well maybe the train conductor is crazy, but at least he can’t overtake and risk a head-on crash)
– It’s interesting to watch people in a train. You can discover something about the country just by seeing the trains, train stations and travellers.
– One can (usually) open the window (which allows to somehow neutralize other people’s smells)
– Ok, the air conditioning never works (but then it doesn’t exist at all in Eastern European buses)
– You can usually take the bike on a train (but not on a bus, unless the driver is in a very good mood and you buy him chocolates)
– ALL the trains we took so far were on time (which means that the 30 minutes stops in the countryside were included in the timetable), wheareas some buses took ages to get into bigger cities because of traffic
Sadly, tomorrow we will have to take yet another bus from Riga to Estonia, because there simply doesn’t seem to be any trains.