We knew after our night of New Year’s Eve fun that the odds of making the 9 or 11am train to Copenhagen were pretty slim. After sleeping through our alarm and missing the 11am by just a few minutes, our fears were confirmed. We had one more train to catch at 1pm, but I had a sick feeling in my stomach about it since we didn’t have reservations and missing the connection would mean being stranded somewhere for the night.
Since so much of this trip has involved riding trains, we had invested in a Eurail pass to save money and time. Despite its many benefits, one major downfall is that you can’t reserve your seats online for international trains and – at least when using the German railway – no one ever answers the English-speaking reservation line. We can say this with great certainty because we’ve tried about a hundred times over the course of the trip. If you call the German line, someone will pick up right away and then tell you (in perfect English) “No, I can’t help you. Please hang up and call the English line.”
Anyway, we can always get on a train with our pass, but reservations ensure that we get seats on trains that always seem to be too full. So we went to the train station with the hopes of getting reservations for the 1pm train and our friend Titus came along to help translate and in general help us get off without a hitch. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get reservations from the ticket agency either, so we jumped on and hoped for the best. Luckily, the train between Dresden and Berlin was nearly empty (probably a lot of other people slept through their alarms too) and we had the whole car to ourselves. When we got to Berlin, we checked the big board and went to the platform it indicated. As we approached the train, we asked a Deutsche Bahn worker if this was the train to Hamburg and she said “Yes, yes.” As we got on the train, we asked the DB conductor if this was the train to Hamburg. Again, she said, “Yes, yes.”
It was not the train to Hamburg
Apparently we didn’t learn from our first experience in Frankfurt that DB workers say yes to everything, regardless of whether or not it’s true.
Our little detour ensured we would miss the last connection from Hamburg to Copenhagen, so after dragging exhausted and screaming children (they had been promised dinner on a train and that wasn’t going to happen now) through extra connections, we finally landed in Hamburg. On the train we had made a desperate and sheepish call to Titus, who once again acted as our personal travel agent and booked us a hotel across from the train station.
As we dragged our pathetic lot to the hotel, I noticed Hamburg was a beautiful city. If I hadn’t spent the day wiping tears (the kids and mine) I would have had the energy to pull out my camera and record it. Just trust me that it was.
We fell into bed and waited for Robbie to get some dinner. But of course, by the time he came back, this was how he found us:
I think at the end of this trip we will make a slideshow of us passed out in every country.
Here’s to a better day tomorrow….