I decided to take a train trip for the next leg of my journey. Now there are days that simply suck. Forgive me for the word but there is just no other word for it on this occasion. I am telling you this because I recently had one of those days.
My train trip from Holland to Switzerland
It happened when I was travelling from The Netherlands to Switzerland. Literally everything that could go wrong went wrong during that trip. The combination of bad factors was more than coincidence. It seemed like the devil was involved.
I decided to go by train to Switzerland. The reason I decided to go by train was that I foresaw problems with flying. My luggage was growing in size and weight for some reason and somehow I had acquired more bags than when I started.
Switzerland is a small country but because of the Alps travelling can take a long time. If you fly you still have to get from an airport to your destination and my end goal Wengen is not the easiest place to get to.
So a train it was! I searched on line and found a great train trip starting just where I was in Borne, Holland. And for a good price. My friend dropped me off at the station and off I went.
What went wrong?
The first thing that happened was a delay on the Dutch train. Not clear why but the train waited just before Enschede and arrived 5 minutes late. My connecting train was still waiting a bit further on the same platform. I ran for it but had to skilfully manoeuvre my too many pieces of luggage through a turn style. When I looked up the train had left.
It basically had just vanished. I could not even see it any more in the distance. I was not the only stranded person and in fact there was a whole group of us that. Missing this train meant my initial schedule to get to Wengen was useless. I would miss the next connection and lose my reserved seats.
I had a good old rant and the lady behind the counter gave me a new schedule based on the new times. It looked fine until I checked it out a bit better and I saw that there were 9 train changes. I was thinking of the stuff I had with me and felt my heart sinking in my shoes.
There was nothing I could do and I took the next train on the schedule the lady in Enschede gave me. I went to Dortmund, then to Mannheim and then to Rastatt, a place somewhere in the South of Germany I had never heard off.
A train trip without a train track….
I explored the schedule a bit better and saw that there was no train between Rastatt and Baden Baden. First I thought I simply misunderstood the schedule but it really said there were no train until the 26th August. As it was only the 15th, I was starting to feel really pissed off!
The reason there was no train was that due to very bad weather the train track had been washed away. There would be many buses waiting to bring all these people from Rastatt to Baden Baden.
We arrived in Rastatt and everybody had to leave the train. Dozens of people were fighting their way to the stairs realising there was neither escalator nor lift on this station. So down the stairs we went, through the tunnel and then up the stairs to be able to get to the buses.
In Rastatt I found out that the train that I missed earlier that day had broken down half an hour out of Munster. All these people had to leave that train and find alternative ways to get further as well. That would have been me had I not missed that train in Enschede.
People were pushing and getting panicked that they would miss out on a spot on one of the buses. To be honest I was glad I had done a fair bit of weight lifting in my life. I had to carry a total of 30 kilos in2 suit cases plus my camera bag and computer bag down and up those stairs. I felt really sorry for elderly people with huge suit cases. They looked around to find a helping hand but as every one had to deal with their own luggage, there was little time nor chance for that.
The train trip continues
In Baden Baden there was a train waiting and after all these people were on it the train was full to the brim. There was no place to sit and suitcases were obstructing exits and corridors.
Fortunately I had a seat but my stuff was all over the place. By then I was very thirsty and went on the search for a bar or restaurant. Only to find out it was not open. How stupid is that? They had a packed train with hungry and thirsty people and there was nothing to eat or drink.
We arrived in Basel where I had another change to make with again only 5 minutes. I knew the platform I had to go to and expected it to be next to the one I arrived. Unfortunately my train arrived on a different platform and we had a delay of 4 minutes. I had to run and push to be able to make it in time for the next train.
To my utter surprise the Swiss train was waiting for us despite the usual punctual Swiss time keeping. I enquired with the Swiss conductor and she told me that the train always waits for its connection. What about that, Germany!
After this trip I had two more train changes to make and I was getting more and more excited to arrive in Wengen where I would stay for a week. Of course there was no one to meet me as my friends had no clue when I arrived. I lugged my stuff through the town, slightly uphill and finally after a rather pain full train trip I had arrived at my next destination.
My week in Wengen was worth all the upheaval. I really love this place 😎 and may decide to share it with you in another blog post.
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Bye for now!