Guess we are getting brave in our old age. (or we need some change in the routine?) Anyway, we went down to the major hub of transportation around here, Széll Kálmán Tér, and got on a villamos one Saturday. Our goal was to ride to the end and see where we were.
Barbie had given us a little Budapet City Guide booklet and it had a map plus a little public transportation outline. So on the villamos, we could see that there was an interesting train, called the Children’s Railway, that was close to where we would end up. So at the end of the line, we walked over to the Children’s Railway (Gyermekvasüt) and purchased tickets to the end of its line. Two children sold us the tickets – they did not know English so we pointed to the last stop on the outline to indicate that is where we wanted to go. The regular transportation tickets that we use for the metro, villamos, buses would not work for this little train.
Here is what the website says: The Children’s Railway is located in the hilly outskirts of Budapest, on the right side of the river Danube. It is operated by children aged 10-14 under the supervision of adult railway attendants. http://www.gyermekvasut.hu/english/chrw_home.php
It is a darling narrow gauge train – “run” by children and primarily for children. So there were lots of grandparents, parents and grandchildren on the train. And it goes through the forests of the Buda Hills. If you take some time to read the information on it’s website, you can see that the children work every 15 days or so (excused from school on those days) for the year that they are working there. We picked a cabin with no children….
One of the cutest things we saw were the kids saluting as the trains went by…
We roamed around the Buda Hills, through the forests up there and there are other sites to visit on other days.
At the end of this journey, we got on the Cogwheel Train, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budapest_Cog-wheel_Railway. This was a very wide tram, with rooms that accommodate bikes, children’s strollers, etc.
At the end of this fairly straight-down-the-hill ride, we were back in familiar territory; so we got on a villamos and rode back to Széll Kálmán Tér, and walked back home. This was a fun adventure…. one that we would do again when families come to visit!