My Travel Philosophy

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Auf Wiedersehen Germany

Lovely last day in Germany -- I actually hate to leave, but looking forward to my overnight train ride to Amsterdam. Spent many hours in the train station this evening and, at one point, policemen came into the waiting lounge to check a bag that was unattended. Turned out to be someone's clothes, but it could have been quite the tragedy since they just simply opened it with all of us still sitting there. I was able to sit in the DB (Deutsche Bahn - the rail service) first class lounge because of the type of train ticket that I bought, but the lounge wasn't anything special: free coffee, tea, soda.

From my research, I was aware of a place to eat in the station called Mongdratzerl, which ended up being right outside the left luggage room on the end of the station closest to my departure area. Sweet! The menu was in German but the waiter was really helpful and I was able to get pork and a Radler. The bread dumplings were way superior to the ones at Hofbrauhaus -- more like a really good stuffing at Thanksgiving. The pork was tender and yummy, and there was this awesome au jus on the plate. Great meal with 2 mugs of Radler, which necessitated a couple of trips to the toilet. It cost 50 cents, but they give you slugs to use if you're a customer.

That reminds me of something else: when something costs less than a euro, they'd ask for 75 cents just like at home.

My tiny little sleeping berth on the train
Another incident: at the Alte Pinakothek I had to throw away my bottle of water -- the one I've been hauling around and refilling since Paris! The guard told me I could rent a locker for €2,00 to store it. Since I can buy bottles of water for less, it seemed quite the best option to throw it away. I've never had to do that before in any museum. The guards at both museums were quite active; continually moving from room to room.

Same plumbing for sink and shower
What odd travelers you see in Europe's train stations. I'm sure they're from all over -- maybe even some Americans. I've seen people with bicycles (lots of them), tons of backpacks (some of them really huge), walking sticks, skis, Tyrolean garb, every size and style of suitcase, kids, you name it.

As I'm leaving, I really have this train thing figured out. Trains are very reliable so, if it's supposed to leave from a certain track at a certain time, it does. There are also little diagrams showing where the cars will line up when the train comes in. It allows you to stand in the correct spot for your reserved seat (mostly). When the train arrives, you can board.

Compact little bathroom
So I boarded the correct train and the correct car and found my compartment. So tiny! There is a pull down seat I could use for my suitcase, but just a couple of knobs on the wall to use with hangers. I can't even imagine two or three people in this room! I didn't realize that not all the compartments have bathrooms. Mine is super tiny (you swing the sink into the shower to use the toilet and vice versa -- same faucet for both), but at least I don't have to go down the hall to pee.

I took a short shower before turning in; there are some young guys in the next compartment so I'm hoping they won't be too loud.

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