Initially, our spirits were high. In addition to myself and Andrej, our friend Miro joined us. I picked him up first, then Andrej. We were happy to be going to this show. Figured we'd sample some tasty beers and sort of grow our network of central European homebrewers. We booked an apartment in Budapest with space for four. We would deliver our beers to the competition first, then check into the hotel, then go meet those guys for dinner and some beers at a Czech restaurant. We set out around 4PM from Zagreb.
Some locals in a van came up behind us and tried to help. There was a small line of cars behind us. They had a shovel and helped dig a bit. No luck. Finally, they hooked a tether onto our car and got the car free. We got to the side of the road and out of the way, in an area where we weren't stuck, and watched. These guys had two vans, one larger than the other. The littler one continued on and tried to break through on the road, to no avail. We watched for maybe a half hour as they tried, failed and turned back. We talked to them and it seemed that all of the cars were stuck. There were these two vans and maybe another half dozen cars stuck further back. Nobody was moving.
We decided to sleep. We were helpless at this point. There were no houses around, nobody to ask for help. And these guys were locals, so if there was anybody to be called, they'd do it. And we figured there were enough cars stuck, that eventually a snow plow would come. So, we slept on and off. I couldn't really sleep at all. I would let the engine rest for 15 minutes or so, then start it back up when the car got too cold inside. We'd heat the car for 30 minutes or something, then repeat. Andrej and Miro slept. Miro snored. Andrej grunted in his sleep, almost sleep talking. But they certainly didn't get any real sleep that night either. A hundred times worse than sleeping on an airplane. We were all wet from the snow and would get cold when I rested the engine, so it mostly had to be on for the heat. The wind howled constantly, rocking the car and making enough noise that we wouldn't have been able to hear a car or truck approaching. We were there another 2 hours before the plow came. We were stuck there for 4 hours total. The plow cleared the snow around us and we drove on, along with the other cars.