The first day of our Train Odyssey was a bit of a misnomer considering that the beginning of our journey was by bus. It turns out that on Tuesdays the 522 train from Split to Zagreb doesn’t actually start until Gospić, Croatia. So, passengers are transported from the Split train station 3 hours north. While this was a bit unexpected we had great fun laughing about our “train bus”, and the oddity of handing Eurail passes to the bus driver.
The ride became even more unexpected half-way through when the bus climbed a mountain and we found ourselves in a world of snow. The rest of the way to Gospić we marveled at the amount of snow on the ground and falling from the sky. There were a few tense moments when the bus almost became stuck in the snow. When we arrived at the station in Gospić we weren’t sure if any trains would be running in the storm, but eventually our train arrived, and we were ushered aboard by some very helpful attendants.
While the train wasn’t halted by the snow, it definitely slowed things down. It went very slow during much of the trip and this delayed our journey by over 2 hours.
Finally we arrived in Zagreb after 10 PM and our stomachs were overjoyed to find a 24 hour bakery still open. After standing around a very chilly station for an hour we were all ready to get on our night train to Belgrade, Serbia and go to sleep. While the train cars were a bit tattered, the warm temperatures inside made for a very comfortable end to our first day on the rails.