Migrants begin 300-mile trek to Germany on foot

Last Updated Sep 5, 2015 12:20 AM EDT

Update:In a surprise nighttime move, Hungary's government provided buses for the weary travelers. Janos Lazar, chief of staff to the prime minister, told the Associated Press the buses would be used because "transportation safety can't be put at risk."


HUNGARY -- Late Friday, Austria's Chancellor said his country and Germany will allow migrants to enter their territory. But on the route through Hungary, police have been forcing them off trains and into camps. Frustrated, tired and hungry, hundreds of refugees took off walking today.

On Monday, thousands who made it to Europe, only to be stopped in their tracks in Hungary, decided they had enough. They took off -- on foot.

Worn out but defiant, they mustered what energy they had left, and set off on a 300 mile trek to Germany.

Thousands of migrants have been stranded for weeks at Budapest's rail station, blocked from leaving the country.

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Migrants march on foot to Germany. CBS News

Today they chose to walk rather than spend another night in Hungary.

At times the line was more than a half mile long.

The migrants tell CBS News' Charlie D'Agata they are walking less out of protest than the fact they have no choice. They couldn't remain at the train station and they don't trust the Hungarian government to help them. And they are going to continue walking until they reach the border.

The 90 degree heat soon took its toll.

A man and his infant son had to take a break. But they were soon up again, anxious to keep up with the crowd.

Someone lent Ishmael, a cardiologist from Syria, a bike for his three children.

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"There is no other way. We stay in Budapest for eight days. No train, no taxi, anything," he said.

And they are determined not to be forced into camps like one on the Serbian border -- where on Monday migrants fought Hungarian police to break free.

Al Attar Jihad, 15, is headed to Germany to be reunited with his father. His mother is still in Damascus. He said he would not let his mother do this.

"It's not a good thing for woman and the children, but we can walk," he said.

But Jihad is not happy to be walking.

They have a long way to go. But walking is what got them this far.