It’s not often that you get a member of railway staff these days who actually stands on the platform and salutes the train. But it still happens in Budapest, even if the employee isn’t old enough to drive the train.
It would appear that Budapest has taken The Railway Children too literally, and sprinkled it with a dusting of the Sound of Music. Because high on a hill above the Danube winds a railway staffed almost entirely by kids. The Children’s Railway was built in the 1950s by the Socialist Scouts, and seems to convey the very model of a work ethic with a bit of child labour. I’m sure it’s not as sinister as that.
But this is a day of more than one mode of transport. To reach the Children’s Railway, we firstly travel by tram and then the Cog Railway.
All of which gives pretty good views of the Buda Hills, or Sherwood Forest as the BBC calls it. Because this was the location for the most recent Robin Hood TV series. And when you board the chair lift to take you back down the mountain, you can kinda see why the producers chose Budapest over Blidworth.
Back to earth and time for a quick tour of the City Park, overlooked by the impressive Heroes Square.
In the afternoon we meet up again with Alison, and attempt to recall our respective versions of the hostel party back on Monday. Not content with drinking until 3am, Alison managed to both surface AND go back underground – on a caving trip.
We opt for a more gentile outdoor pursuit – with a couple of beers back in the Simple Garden.
It’s been a crazy few days in Budapest. Back soon!