This week we’re asking you to share your own travel traumas, those memories from a life travelling you’d perhaps rather forget. Or at least when you learnt a valuable lesson or two. Here Gemma Smyth recounts her hungry odyssey on a Greek train. Share your experiences below…

It’s nearing midnight and I’ve been waiting most of the day in Thessaloniki train station to board a train up to Budapest in Hungary.  I’ve walked up and down the road outside but can’t even find a McDonald’s. That’s okay though, because once I get on the train there’ll be a buffet car; after all what 34 hour train journey would take place on a train that doesn’t have a buffet car?

This one, it turned out.

After boarding and working out where I could sleep, I went off in search of food. I walked up and down the train but couldn’t find anything, except a room where the ticket man was sitting selling peanuts and water. I bought a can of peanuts and asked for directions to the buffet car. He said that there wasn’t one.

The next 34 hours involved a lot of sleeping, a lot of thinking about food (by the end of the journey I was fantasising about Marks and Spencer’s birthday cakes – the ones with the madeira cake and soft white icing on the outside), and lots of wondering whether I could get off the train at the next stop, run out, get food and get back on the train before it pulled away.

The silver lining was that when I arrived in Budapest I had the only Pizza Hut meal I’ve ever really enjoyed. In fact it’s probably one of the best meals I’ve ever had. That said I’ve never been able to eat a can of peanuts again.

After swapping stories we thought we’d put the question out on Twitter and ask: have you had any travel traumas?


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