We haven’t made any rail reservations for our trip, although we plan to take six trains, all of them in the first half of the trip. Almost all of the trains will be in Eastern Europe, which has been the center of the migration of Syrian refugees seeking a better life in the more affluent areas of western Europe.
Our early trips to Europe included border patrols, sometimes heavily armed, as you entered each country. With the establishment of the European Union, and its open borders, travel across Europe has become as seamless as travel across the United States. But, with the immigration crisis a lot of that has changed. Many countries have put in place border controls that are arguably at odds with the rules of the EU.
Next Monday will be our first rail trip, from Prague to Bratislava. Tuesday, it’s on to Budapest and the Keleti train station that a week or two ago was the center of the migrant situation, as migrants were living and sleeping, wall to floor, in the spacious terminal.
Toward the end of next week, we will travel by rail to Zagreb, Croatia, another recent migrant hot spot, and then to Ljubljana, Slovenia.
If all goes well, by the end of next week, we will have been in half of the countries we plan to visit, making the rest of the trip seem more relaxing. So long as we don’t lose our passports.