A few years back I decided it would be a good idea to take a train from southern Sweden to Italy.Â A couple of my friends were studying abroad, so I had a place to be and people to see.Â I decided a train would be a good idea because I could see the country side and maybe save a little bit of money.Â Of course, cross continental travel takes some time and so I opted for the night train.
This was long before I had learned that you get what you pay for, love, and so instead of paying a bit extra for a nice cushy compartment that might actually allow for some sleep, I paid for a normal seat.
I am not a small person and so my long legs tend to not enjoy sitting in tight spaces for extended periods of time. Trying to sleep in a sitting position is tight spaces is even worse. Â Yet there I was, in an overnight train heading towards Italy, with several other people all in various stages of discomfort.Â But I was young and poor and thought the experience would count for something. For what I still donâ€™t know.
After several hours of pretending to sleep, I decided maybe a bathroom run with toothbrush in hand would help.Â So I carefully and quietly attempted to extract myself from the crowded row of seats.Â Not an easy task on a moving train in the middle of the night.Â After the several muttered excuse meâ€™s, I was free. To the bathroom I went. I took my time getting there, it was nice being able to wander through the silence and I was in no hurry.
Finally though, my teeth brushed, I headed back to my seat. Only to end up very confused. It was filled.Â By a man. A very asleep man. What happened next makes me a pushover. Iâ€™d like to think it makes me a thoughtful and caring individual, but really it just makes me a pushover.Â Because I did nothing. I wandered the train the rest of the evening, even sitting on a bench with a book in hand for a while.
How a man was able to slide into my seat and fall asleep so quickly, Iâ€™ve never been able to figure out. But there he was, and there I was.Â And I havenâ€™t taken a night train since.
Andy loves taking the trains in Europe, while Iâ€™m sceptical to say the least.Â What do you think? When youâ€™re planning your European travels, does train travel figure into the equation?