A good account so far Laurie! Birding from trains could be a good thread, reminded me of my c60 mile trip South almost to the Croatian border from Budapest a couple of years ago. Saw some great birds and got a retrospective “lifer” en-route. Don’t know if the carriages were similar?, but one could pull the window down, arms resting on glass and “rat-a-tat” at will.
....and he didn’t mind.