The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “german trains”

What could possibly go wrong on a 2 hour train journey. Hamburg to Berlin

The background to the story was the fact that Berlin airports were closed down by a 2 day strike of ground workers earlier this week. Trains into Berlin were not surprisingly packed with slightly more irritable commuters than usual. 

That was how I came to be on a train bound for Hamburg.  People basically sat where they could with some of the signage for reserved seats confusing or wrong.

I was sat opposite a woman of maybe 30 years who was engrossed in a newspaper and had bought a cup of takeaway coffee and a bag of food for the journey. The train was an ICE train that travelled around 150-200 kph. Mostly the tracks were straight however my traveling companion was clearly unaware that around 30 minutes into the journey the train was leaning to my right quite considerably s it ventured around a bend at 190 kph. From the corner of my eye I could see the cup of coffee sliding off the table before I could do anything useful. The coffee splattered onto the floor and as the contents jumped into the air they splattered all over the woman’s clothes sitting opposite across the aisle.

 Her smart jeans were soaked along one side. She was not amused but said little before disappearing off in the direction of the toilets. The actual coffee thrower dashed off to get tissues and towels . 

Around 15 minutes later the pair were back in their seats. Not a word spoken. The coffee thrower pulling her scarf I presume around her face in a sort of reverse hijab seemingly in a vain attempt to hide.  Later in the journey a large flask appeared on the table opposite in almost seemingly a challenge to see if this woukd fall off in revenge! 

Very lastly as the coffee thrower packed her stuff to leave the train in Berlin she accidentally threw her Woolen hat at the same woman opposite! Watching all this and their reactions was pure cabaret. 

Finally the train arrived at Berlin and some food was needed. I queued at the first outlet for a takeaway roll. These rolls are superb and their is a huge selection in a cabinet . Maybe 100 on offer. The person in front of me while paying dropped a euro coin and it fell somewhere into the melage of rolls and sandwiches.  Not only did she need her Euro back seemingly but the coin could not be found . The girl serving was hunting between and at times inside the rolls! I guess biting on a Euro would not be so great . 

The moral to this story is if travelling eventually on any journey the cabaret will always arrive ! 

Night Travel on German Railways. A curious activity

For complicated reasons I had to catch the 4.13 am train from Aachen to reach Düsseldorf airport . I could have  got a direct service if I was prepared to take the 2.53 am train. 

Aachen station was thankfully open and a curious mixture of travellers greeted me. A few sleeping on benches and a few on the concourse itself. No shops of course were open and the only entertainment came from some Rap music a young guy was playing through his portable stereo system.  

The train itself was empty and took an unusual meandering route via the Dutch border. Ticket inspectors looked alive and well with energy levels suggestive of a caffeine overdose. A few passengers joined the train at the quiet stations however mostly this was my view during the journey. Why do these night trains run? I am not sure. To provide a service for sure but do they also collect fellow rail workers? The trains to some extent run through the night. 

Even by 5.34 am at Düsseldorf the station remains quiet with only seemingly one other passenger adorned with suitcase heading presumably to the airport. 

Thankfully the trains are mostly on time which has not always been my experience with German trains. But for me I remain grateful for night train travel

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