05/08/2013 - 07/08/2013
Our few days after leaving Barcelona were filled with travel - mostly so we could get to Budapest in time for Sziget festival. On our first day we headed to Perpignon, which involved 3 train journeys. The second train journey was pretty cool though as that was on a small yellow train that ran through the mountains. People seemed to have a really warm regard for it as well as you'd get cars honking their horns and people waving at the train, it was really sweet.
Le Petit Train Jaune:
In Perpignon we stayed at Hotel Kennedy, which we'd booked through Expedia. There were no hostels in Perpignon and we didn't want to stray far from the train station as we were literally just there for the night. The hotel was ok, though the air conditioning was broken, so it was really hot. There was a fan in the room, but it barely seemed to do anything. As we arrived fairly late, we only ventured out briefly to find food. This wasn't very easy though so we ended up just grabbing some stuff from the supermarket near the hotel. We did have a nice little walk around the ramparts though, so that was our brief bit of sightseeing. Granted we didn't make it into central Perpignon, but from what we did see it didn't seem that nice a place. Although that was kinda good as it meant I wasn't disappointed to leave again so quickly.
The next day we travelled to Lyon. We arrived there late afternoon / early evening, so we had a bit of time to actually explore, which was nice. We stayed at Timhotel Lyon Part Dieu, which was in a good location and pretty nice from what I remember, though again had no air conditioning so was very hot. Still, Lyon seemed a really lovely place - it was actually quite disappointing to be leaving so quickly, but it's somewhere we can easily go back to. We spent most of our sightseeing time in Parc de la Tete d'Or, which was pretty cool. It's got a zoo in it, plus other areas with deer and turtles (so many turtles!), plus a little fairground type area with Hook a Duck, plus plenty of greenery and flowers and other park type things. We then also went for a walk by the river before getting food and heading back to the hotel.
The following morning we travelled to Switzerland - we changed trains in Geneva and then arrived in Zurich about 13:30. We had 9 hours before our night train to Budapest. Happily we also had tour guides in the shape of Alex and Vera who we'd met on the Moose Bus in Canada. They did an awesome job showing us the sights of Zurich - it's not a huge place so we walked all over, went up a tower, went for a drink, walked some more and went for some food (I had the Bratwurst). It was really nice to see them and Zurich seemed like a really great place. Oh and we were able to leave our rucksacks in a locker at the train station, so didn't have to be burdened with those all day. After picking them back up and buying some snacks for the train journey, we were back on our familiar mode of transport, though this time with couchettes, so no trying to sleep in a chair - hoorah.