I wanted us to spend some time in Vienna, a city which I love. It's just so...genteel. But I didn't want to take too much time away from some other places, and it is the easternmost of the places we're visiting; kinda sorta out of the way. So I decided a night train made sense. Board at 9pm, drift off to sleep with the sounds of the rails clicking beneath us, and wake up at 8:30 in Vienna, refreshed and ready for fun.
I didn't count on our sleeping compartment being the size of a small walk-in closet.
Four shelf-beds, no where to sit. Our neighbor asked which other cars we were able to use on the train, and the conductor said, "None. You must stay in your compartment." Poor neighbors; there were 4 of us in this tiny space, but there were 6 of them!
(Many of us spent the first hours standing in the hallway, where there was a least a teeny-tiny breeze.)
I didn't count on not being able to open windows and the air conditioning being basically non-functional. They did fix it at a stop around 1:30am, and we did begin to freeze shortly thereafter, but falling asleep was difficult.
I didn't count on our train stopping at every stop between Venice and Vienna, going by way of Salzburg. I didn't count on the noises and movements and lights involved.
I didn't count on a lot of things. But I did count on arriving in Vienna refreshed and excited and ready to enjoy it's beauty.
And, somehow, we were!