It is only recently that I realized what a mistake that was. Last week, I was back for a couple of days with no rail pass to speak of. Another key difference- it was not raining. My one prevailing memory from that first visit was how stinking persistent the rain was. We were there for 28 days and got drenched each and every one of those days.
The day we just arrived, it wasn't exactly sunny but it wasn't pouring down either so we were off to a good start. We took the train from the airport right into town and commenced exploring.