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1
Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Belgrade to Podgorica or Zagreb Question
« Last post by warlord on February 08, 2019, 06:08:12 pm »
  Petrovac I also hear is worth a visit and if the Summer bus is running to Sveti Stefan, that might also be an option.

  Just was informed by someone in Belgrade that the Central Train station is permanently closed and they haven't really started on the new station (which isn't centrally located anymore either).  So anyone wishing right now to get to Novi Sad, or Budapest from Belgrade now has to take a bus to Novi Sad and then use the train (if going to Budapest).  Topčider is still having the Bar train which is good.

  Also hear I can get the train tickets at the Belgrade Centar Prokop bus station for the over night train.  Might just do that the day after I arrive (Thurs) for the Sunday night train.  Hopefully that will be enough in advance to get a single sleeping compartment...
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Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Belgrade to Podgorica or Zagreb Question
« Last post by tUt on February 07, 2019, 10:31:06 pm »
Ok, looks like I may get the €75 for the 1st class ticket and single bed sleeper reservation.  I hear there is a man that many people recommend they can get to get the reservations for you and he meets you at the station and gives you the tickets and informs you of anything you have questions on.  Seen many people talk about it on various forums so that might be an option rather than trying to get over to Topčider the day after I arrive, as you said, it's a little ways out there now.
It is an option, just remember to be careful with such "private" intermediaries ;)
Already have booked the hotel in Budva for the entire time as others recommended doing that.
Well, Budva is considered to be the resort/party capital with the best choice of hotels and so on, so it's a smart decision.
But as others have told me, there would be better things to spend my time doing than Ulcinj for a day trip from Budva...
Totally true, starting with Kotor & Sveti Stefan
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Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Belgrade to Podgorica or Zagreb Question
« Last post by warlord on February 06, 2019, 06:23:20 pm »
  Ok, looks like I may get the €75 for the 1st class ticket and single bed sleeper reservation.  I hear there is a man that many people recommend they can get to get the reservations for you and he meets you at the station and gives you the tickets and informs you of anything you have questions on.  Seen many people talk about it on various forums so that might be an option rather than trying to get over to Topčider the day after I arrive, as you said, it's a little ways out there now.

  Already have booked the hotel in Budva for the entire time as others recommended doing that.

  Figure the best option then would be once I get to bar off the train, there are several buses all day that go to Budva, and I would just store my backpack if possible and see Bar that way and just skip Ulcinj.  I don't know if it would be worth it going to see it from Budva as when I'm there it seems there are very limited direct buses and I would have to split the trip going to Bar again and taking another bus to Ulcinj.  At least if I do that, there I have the option of the direct bus back.  But as others have told me, there would be better things to spend my time doing than Ulcinj for a day trip from Budva...
4
Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Belgrade to Podgorica or Zagreb Question
« Last post by tUt on January 31, 2019, 10:05:49 pm »
So we've talked about the train already, and I assume I can book a sleeper car ahead of time then from Belgrade to Bar?
Well, it used to be possible to purchase Belgrade-Bar tickets online using (somewhat odd) page on the Serbian railways website, however checked it now and it seems that such tickets are not available anymore. Pity, but it's the Balkans, so nothing unusual here ))) So it's either buying at the station (shouldn't be a problem in terms of availability since you'll spend a few days in Belgrade and can stop by the ticket counter in advance) or using some agency (makes sense only if it's super high season during the summer). 
I've done trains for 4-5 hour stretches before around Europe, but never done an over night (except once in Egypt decades ago), so not exactly sure how it works with security of luggage and if you get your own area or if you share the area with others as I'm a solo traveler.
With the security it's the same story as we discussed earlier for the daytime train (see the older post), compartment can be locked from the inside + you can always make some sort of additional lock/alarm system yourself. While with the compartment you actually have a choice - you can either purchase 1st class ticket (31,8 euro for Belgrade-Bar) along with the single sleeper (45 euro) reservation (this way you'll have the whole compartment only for yourself) or potentially share the compartment with one (double sleeper reservation cost 20 euro) or two other passengers (T3 reservation is 15 euro), 2nd class ticket needed for these latter options is 21 euro. As you can see, it's the price difference between roughly 40 euro (2nd class ticket + 3 bed sleeper) and 75 euro (1st class ticket and single bed sleeper reservation)

Also keep in mind that due to the closure of the old Belgrade train station, trains to Bar nowadays depart from a minor station called Topčider which is not as centrally located

Would it make it easier to stay in Ulcinj instead for a few nights and then up to Budva? Though it would be having to split 4-5 days between the two and not sure which would be best.
Hmm... Ulcinj is in the opposite direction if we take Bar as your starting point, so not sure it makes sense to split your stay this way. Instead you can either drop your luggage in Bar when you arrive by train and simply take a couple hour trip to see Ulcinj (which is only 30 km away), then come back to Bar the same day, pick up your luggage and go to Budva to your hotel. Or, as an alternative, just visit Ulcinj on a separate as a daytrip from Budva (at the end it's only 60 km one way). The answer can also depend on the hotel, meaning that if you'll find much cheaper hotel in one place, thus making it financially worthy to split or not your stay 
5
Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Belgrade to Podgorica or Zagreb Question
« Last post by warlord on January 29, 2019, 07:55:28 pm »
UPDATE:

  Ok due to pricing of my other options and connection times with Turkish Air, I've booked my trip for this now.  So will have a few days in Belgrade and then take the overnight train to Bar and then hopefully a bus right to Budva where I'll then spend 4-5 days there before heading over to Dubrovnik as the flights were cheaper than Podgorcia.  That way I can spend 3 or so nights there for this trip.

  So we've talked about the train already, and I assume I can book a sleeper car ahead of time then from Belgrade to Bar?  I've done trains for 4-5 hour stretches before around Europe, but never done an over night (except once in Egypt decades ago), so not exactly sure how it works with security of luggage and if you get your own area or if you share the area with others as I'm a solo traveler.

  For Montenegro.  Would it make it easier to stay in Ulcinj instead for a few nights and then up to Budva?  Though it would be having to split 4-5 days between the two and not sure which would be best.

Thanks again...
6
Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Georgia - Armenia Transit Question
« Last post by warlord on January 14, 2019, 06:21:40 pm »
  Yes it seems from the New Zealander that gave me the gotrip.ge/en/ that she talked to a few other people that used it and they said it was great.  So think that would at least be my best option from Tbilisi to Alaverdi since I won't be flying into Yerevan due to the bad layover connections.  I don't want to attempt another 1 hour layover at the new Istanbul airport as they all are showing me.

  And yes I know about the conflict and have already asked the same question about the passports.  As long as I haven't visited that one separated area of Azerbaijan everyone I talked to said there is no issues travelling between the two countries.  I won't be anywhere near that area anyways.

  Seems there are lots of marshrutka's in Alaverdi that go to Tbilisi so will just either try that, or as you stated, ask at the hotel I'll be staying in for their recommendations.  I know I have done this in the past in other countries and the last time in Moldova they had their own drivers they hire for all guest's need, so will inquire about that...
7
Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Georgia - Armenia Transit Question
« Last post by tUt on January 12, 2019, 05:34:21 pm »
Someone did suggest this (https://gotrip.ge/en/) and I contacted them and they said they have drivers that can both take me to Alaverdi and then I can get another one to get back for about $36 US each way.  That's probably what I'd have to do and gives me a chance to stay 2 nights or so there and hike around a lot.
Sounds like more or less ok price for such trip (unless there are some hidden commission or something) and since it's an agency it should be safer than trying to find a taxi yourself
I've always tried to avoid local taxi's being a foreigner and the reputation of them scamming people, especially when I don't speak the language (or at least very well).  So I tend to avoid them.
True, sometimes it's a risk, especially in countries where you don't speak local language, while locals almost don't speak English (once had a taxi trouble of that kind in Egypt), but one option also can be to find a reliable driver via friends/fellow travelers who traveled there earlier and know someone trustworthy. I think local taxi drivers quite often try to give their client a card or tel. number, so that they or their friends use the service again. 

Also with flights I didn't realize the tension between Armenia and Turkey and flying to Yerevan isn't as easy as others.  So I've decided if I go on this trip, I'll just fly into Baku and spend a few days there and take the night train sleeper to Tbilisi.  I have friends from the UK that told me I should do it anyways.  Much better connection times and easier to fly to there and out of Batumi than going to Yerevan.
Tensions between Turkey and Armenia are very old, however you shouldn't forget about tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan as well (google Karabakh conflict). Not sure about exact situation nowadays, but it used to be not recommended to visit Armenia and Azerbaijan on the same trip with one and the same passport, because if the border guards will see Azeri/Armenian stamp in your passport you might end up having rather unpleasant conversation conversation with the officials (afair, it's worse with Armenian stamp on Azeri border than with Azeri stamps on Armenian border, but still). So unless you have two passports (one to enter/exit Azerbaijan and the other for Armenia), you should check the current situation visiting both countries in one trip.

I just would like to somehow have some time and a few nights somewhere worthwhile in Armenia at least.  Maybe there are cheap flights from Tbilisi to Yerevan and I can just spend a few days around the capitol and fly back?
You really that against the Yerevan-Tbilisi train ride and a short bus ride? E.g. Taxi Tbilisi-Alaverdi --> sightseeing --> local bus to Yerevan (it won't take more than a few hours) --> sightseeing --> overnight train to Tbilisi. Remember it was super expensive (counting the very short distance between Tbilisi and Yerevan) to fly from Georgia to Armenia + with a flight you miss the view along the road
8
Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Georgia - Armenia Transit Question
« Last post by warlord on January 11, 2019, 06:14:17 pm »
No this trip is for May not Feb.  I always plan ahead before getting a ticket.

  Yes it also seems the train arrives in Alaverdi at 3am anyways so that option is out.

  Someone did suggest this (https://gotrip.ge/en/) and I contacted them and they said they have drivers that can both take me to Alaverdi and then I can get another one to get back for about $36 US each way.  That's probably what I'd have to do and gives me a chance to stay 2 nights or so there and hike around a lot.

  I've always tried to avoid local taxi's being a foreigner and the reputation of them scamming people, especially when I don't speak the language (or at least very well).  So I tend to avoid them.  I might just have to go with the one I mentioned before.

  Also with flights I didn't realize the tension between Armenia and Turkey and flying to Yerevan isn't as easy as others.  So I've decided if I go on this trip, I'll just fly into Baku and spend a few days there and take the night train sleeper to Tbilisi.  I have friends from the UK that told me I should do it anyways.  Much better connection times and easier to fly to there and out of Batumi than going to Yerevan.

  I just would like to somehow have some time and a few nights somewhere worthwhile in Armenia at least.  Maybe there are cheap flights from Tbilisi to Yerevan and I can just spend a few days around the capitol and fly back?  Kind of weird, but an option I guess...
9
All other train travel questions / Re: OeBB Nightjet seats compartment?
« Last post by Username: on January 11, 2019, 04:50:19 pm »
It seems I can book a whole seats compartment for myself (Hamburg-Zurich) if I want.
If you pay for all 6 Seats sure!
Its better when you Book an Single Bed Sleeping Car. The Benefit is you can Look the Door and prevent with that many thieves from Stealing.
Are these armrests movable? My interest is being able to lie down across one row of seats if I can -- cheaper than a couchette with more privacy.
Yes! https://www.vagonweb.cz/fotogalerie/A/OeBB_Bbmvz-2891-1.php
Its better when you take 2 and lie down in the direction of Travel. Its more comport.
privacy? The Door and Wall are made of Transparent Plastic so there is no Privacy.
In the 1970's in compartments on some trains had opposing seats that could be pulled together or nearly together. This made a makeshift bed that one could lie on. Is this possible on present day OeBB Nightjet trains?
normally Yes.
If you have more Question about Public Transport in Austria: http://publictransportforum.at/
10
Travel plans, routes and timetables / Re: Georgia - Armenia Transit Question
« Last post by tUt on January 10, 2019, 10:56:57 pm »
I did some research and found out the train between Yerevan and Tbilisi is not only long, uncomfortable and just highly not recommended, so was curious about other options if they exists trying to get between Yerevan and Tbilisi and spending a night.
Armenia & Georgia are both very marshrutkas based countries, Ukraine is the "railway heaven" compared to those two :) In Armenia and Georgia train is an ok option only on very few connections (like Tbilisi-Batumi), so in this context overnighter from Yerevan to Tbilisi is actually not that bad in terms of travel time/comfort, especially taking into consideration its curvy route on the Armenian side
So just wondering if you had any input on this idea at all?
An alternative to marshrutka in that part of the world is actually a taxi (on popular routes, like Tbilisi-Yerevan, it can be even in form of car sharing --> used it myself). Using a taxi won't be much faster, however way more comfortable. A few years ago it was about 200-250 lari (or 75-100 USD) per car for the entire 6 or so hour ride from Tbilisi to Yerevan, so if it was 4 passengers, then the price per person was not that much higher than marshrutka actually ;)   
It seems there is a that same train from Yerevan that goes to the station in Alaverdi, but it seems like it's once a day.
Yep, it's the same Yerevan-Tbilisi train, but it doesn't even run every day, only once in two days - http://www.ukzhd.am/raspisanie/en/raspisanie.html . And the schedule for journeys to Alaverdi is horrible, so don't think it makes sense to use it. The train is only for direct passengers between the capitals

But didn't know if there was another option.  Getting to Alaverdi, I can't seem to find any train for some reason. Also can't find any buses either.
Well, if I were you and wanted more or less comfortable trip, would probably do it this way: a) take a local bus/car shared taxi from Yerevan to Alaverdi (=will be rather cheap); b) next day with a help of your hotel/B&B personal rent a local taxi for yourself and just go around to those places you are interested; c) on the third day either get a local taxi to take you all the way to Tbilisi (with the sightseeing stops along the way) or, if it's too expensive (like >40-50 usd or so), then just take it across the ARM-GEO border to Sadakhlo and then use local marshrutka/shared taxi to Tbilisi (=again a very cheap option). NB: dealing with taxis should be done only when you already in Armenia/Georgia (won't be a problem, locals will gladly help), because pre-booking it from abroad is a bad idea, since you'll overpay a lot.
Totally different approach might be to try to find some travel agency with the organized tour (like Tbilisi to Northern Armenia), it's more like an option for lazy ones and those who don't want to deal with local transport, but it can work and save you time.   

It's another option before I get a flight in Feb.
You want to go to Georgia/Armenia in February? Though the winter scenery will be rather nice, but the weather might not be perfect for those long journeys through the mountains with many sightseeing stops. Think that recently many people these days do go to Georgia during the winter season, but it's mostly for skiing (Kazbegi or Svaneti region) and staying in bigger cities (like Tbilisi/Batumi) with the nightlife, food, etc.
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