When traveling, be prepared to shift plans and embrace the unexpected. Planning any trip, including a 66-day one, means many details need to be considered. When booking this 66-day European sampler trip, we recognized things might go wrong at some point, but our motto was “We’ll jump off that bridge when we get there.”

So far we’ve taken 6 train rides and 1/2 were problematic.


1. Train from Venice S. Lucia to Verona, Italy ran smoothly.

2. Train from Verona, Italy to Lugano, Switzerland had a 30-minute delay and an unexpected train change, which meant going from reserved 1st class seats to sit-your-butt-down-anywhere seats.

3. Train from Lugano to Milan, Italy – smooth sailing.

4. Trip from Milan, Italy to Ljubljana, Slovenia. We took the train to Venice S. Lucia to catch the bus to Ljubljana, however upon arriving we could not find the bus connection. When asking for help we were told we could not connect to the bus here. The bus station is in another part of Venice and we would not have time. However, if we could catch the next train back one stop to Venice Mestre, we might be able to catch the bus there. We rushed back, got to the wrong bus depot, we’re told to go to a nearby hotel and look for our bus there. Amazingly, we found the bus and were the final two passengers aboard. Disaster averted. No problems switching from our bus to the train in Villach, Austria that would then take us to Ljubljana.

5. Train from Ljubljana to Zagreb, Croatia – perfectly fine.

6. Train from Zagreb to Budapest, Hungary. We were leaving at 9:55 and our train was to be on Track 1. However the train that arrived 25 minutes earlier still had not left. With only a few minutes left, Trenquilla tried to find an English-speaking person to check with. Turns out the train shown on our tickets requires us to hop on this train then take a bus through a few towns to get to it. We hop on with a full minute to spare and as scary as it seemed, all ended up working out fine.

The truth is we could have been irritable and let these shifts ruin our day, and we did see several people claiming such an attitude, but we embrace them and have a feeling there are a few more hiccups lying ahead of us. Of course, our positive attitude might be intact because we made it to the intended locations. :). But, we believe that even if we missed the bus to Austria, we would have laughed, looked at each other and said, “What now?”

What shifts have you encountered along your travels?

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