On "Eastern express" From Turkey to Bulgaria
Famous this train made novel Agatha Christie "Murder in Eastern Express", Plus the movie of the Erkühul Poiro. The train goes, and the gorgeous detective slowly finds a killer. The action of the film is happening and not in Turkey, but on the territory of the current Yugoslavia (where because of the trash, the train got up for a long time), but the starting point was the old Sirkeggi station in Istanbul. A little changed since then, except for the train only to Budapest, and not to Paris. Personally, I first rolled on this train in 1999, following Turkey to Serbia. The ticket was worth the visual penny, and the exotics broke from the beginning to the end. On the night of the 28th on August 29, 2010, I again went to the same train from Istanbul to Bulgarian Plovdiv, returning from Iraq and spending several days in Turkey.
Technical details for tourist
Train tickets are purchased at the box office of Sirkeggi Station (the building was built in 1890), it is impossible to buy them in advance on the Internet. But from my experience there is no problem. Oddly enough, but the train does not use specially popular. The main part of tourists travels from Istanbul to their own countries by plane, or in extreme cases by buses.
The same Bulgarians with Romanians are more convenient for 7-8 hours to reach Sofia and 10 to Bucharest than 12 hours by train to Sofia and 19 hours to Bucharest. Plus, buses depart every hour, and train to 22.00, which implies the need to sleep. The same my Bulgarian friends told that they at one time got in Sophia on the bus at 10 am, and arrived in Istanbul already to 18.00, and the train is a torment for them: the border at 2 o’clock in the morning, old cream wagons, constant late and delays on the border.
As for the price, the train ticket to the sedentary car (six-grade coupes with the door) to Sofia costs 20 euros, and a sleeping (ordinary HDR-Sleeping Wagon Class St. Over Troy) – 28 Euro. Bus, for comparison, stands like a sedentary car train, but it is twice as fast. SUMMARY is: if you are interested in the economy, then you are undoubtedly going to Sirkeggi Station and sit down on the train, but if you need to get to Bulgaria, Romania or Serbia to Bulgaria, Romania or Serbia.
Istanbul car – Sofia. Wagons Next: Bucharest, Belgrade, Budapest:
- Istanbul car – Sofia
- Sirkeji Station Building
- Ticket cash regulations
- Colorful restaurant
There is another train departing from Istanbul, he goes to Greek Thessaloniki. About him will tell separately. This is a train of another level: new, comfortable and. Essentially more than the first. Sleeping place in the six-bed coupe costs about 70 euros.
Actually, the train of Istanbul – Thessaloniki, who goes to the station Uzuncumpry (border) being attached to the Turkish train of a local message:
- Train Istanbul – Thessaloniki
- Normal Soviet car
Nevertheless, it is this train that is extremely popular, and once even did not turn out tickets. It goes daily at 20.00, then you mean by two hours before Eastern Express.
. If there are no tickets at the box office?
I confess, with this I came across only once, although I went to this train once six for my life. Then you remember youth, as you (or your parents with you) were sitting on the train by private negotiations with the conductor. Here is the same. The train consists of 7-8 wagons and goes unchanged to the Bulgarian station Dimitrovgrad, where two cars are oppressed by another train to Bucharest. The remaining path to Sofia, where two more are unchanged. Then the remaining cars trailers trains Sofia – Belgrade and you are traveling the penultimate cut of the way to Serbia. Finally, in Belgrade, the last carriage (Hungarian) trains in Belgrade – Budapest. The whole road from Turkey in Hungary takes about 35 hours.
I do not accidentally tell me where and what is chosen. After all, it depends on how from the conductors you negotiate: Bulgarian, Romanian, Serbian, or Hungarian. Depends on where you are going.
"Sold" all conductors without exception. Moreover, if the train is half empty (which happens often), then you can not buy a ticket at the checkout at all and calmly imprisoned by negotiating. So I traveled half of the cases, reaching Sofia for 10-15 euros instead of 28. Isn’t funny numbers?
No less fascinating negotiations with conductors. Suppose you are traveling to Bulgaria and your guide was a mustache Bulgarian Railwayman, for many years to travel Moscow – Sofia, only na pensions going to the Turkish direction. The conversation will be about this:
-Good evening, you can with you in Sofia?
-Dober Evening, Other, Vie You can come to the conversation on the coupe!
Come in, he says to you, they say, 28 euros, as in the checkout. You mind:
-For 28 euros I can buy at the checkout, let’s 15.
-E, brother. 15 May. Saved eaten itself from turkey, – the conductor laughs.
Border Station Kapikule (Kapikule)
On schedule, at 2 am you arrive on the border with Bulgaria. Before the border will be the last Turkish city, Edirne, extremely interesting and unknown mass tourism. Highly recommend. The train can be countered straight from there, except that it is not quite comfortable to walk to 1.30 nights, so look at the situation. As for the border, contrary to our usual on the borders of the CIS, Turkish border guards for cars with seals do not go. It is to go to the station and go to the passport control window.
The train stands in the Kapikule exactly an hour, and 10 minutes before departure, the Turkish border guard will pass on cars and check the presence of outbound printing. It is better that you have already had the seal, otherwise you will just fall out with things. Train will not wait. How did my neighbor noticed, the talkative Serbian uncle, "Turks love when they go to bow, Gada. We were killed for centuries". I asked, so what do you go to them then, if you don’t like so? He looked at me with surprise "So business!". Well, yes, business is holy.
Kapikule station, see queue in the lower left corner? These passengers are standing for field seals from Turkey.
- Kapikule station
- Our train from Istanbul
Bulgarian Border Station Svilengrad
After the watery parking lot on the Turkish border, the train rows and literally after 15 minutes arrives at the Bulgarian station Svilengrad, where Bulgarian passport and customs control is carried out. It is noteworthy that the seal in the passport put "Captain Andreevo", This is the closest to the border of the village, named in a part of the local partisan who died in 1942. Bulgarians are already more familiar go on cars, loudly knocking in the door coupe and speaking "Bulgarian passported control!" –
Here the train costs 35 minutes. Passports are not citizens of the European Union in the station building, where the stamps and at the end are returned back. Before the entry of Bulgaria to the European Union everything was easier. They did not even bring you to the database, but only watched the documents and put the stamp. After a year and a half, when Bulgaria joins Schengen, the control will be more stricter.
Sleva – Bulgarian entry print, right – Turkish exit:
- Svilengrad station
- Balkan Nature
After the border, the time to sleep a little, although it is not easy, because 5 in the morning. Lights. Outside the window Beautiful Balkan Nature, Mountains, Fields, Little Villagers –
In the region of 10 in the morning, with hourly delay, I arrive at the Plovdiv station I need. Here at noon I meet with friends and we are going to the Mountain Resort of Bansko, where they are completing the construction of a small hotel.