Scenery at the town of Uelzen, Germany .
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Hamburg, Germany.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? North to Denmark!

Friday, August 13, 2021

Not entirely stress free, but it all worked out okay

We dropped off Max at the dealer at about 10:00am Thursday morning and walked the two kms to the Dulmen train station. We travel light and we each had a small backpack and a rolling carry on suitcase. And even the carry on bags were half empty! They will be full when we return though.

Dulmen has only a small station and tickets are purchased only at a machine. There is nobody to talk to. We were concerned because I had read that morning that we were in the middle of a two day railroad engineers strike and only 25% of the normal trains were running.

The article I had read was to expect disrupted service and crowded trains and to avid travel if necessary.

Except that our travel was necessary.

The ticket machine gave an option of a train arriving in about six minutes and I rushed through the buying procedure, but I think we got it right. The machine spit one one ticket for two adults, and a credit card receipt. Ruth put the ticket in the clear window of her purse, and I put the receipt in my back pocket.

The one way ticket cost €24.50 ($36 CAD, $29 USD) per person.

On the platform, the train arrived right on time and we hopped on. I think we got lucky, although I'm pretty sure it would have only been an hour wait for the next train, and we had all day so we weren't really in a rush.

A couple of people got on the same time as us, but otherwise the train was empty!

Me on the train.

I knew from past research that there was a direct train and a train that needed a connection. But I couldn't figure out which one we were on, and the ticket didn't say either. Neither the train website nor google maps routing said if this train went directly to the Dusseldorf Airport, and there was nobody to ask. I think it was because of the strike and the reduced service that the information online wasn't accurate

Eventually we got to the main Essen station which is a big train connection station and we decided to get off. Worst case scenario, we would get back on another train that would go to the airport.

I asked at information, and they sent us to the right track, with about a half hour wait.

While we were waiting, I noticed that the ticket was no longer in the clear window in Ruth's purse, so I asked if she had it. 

Nope.

Long story short, we have no idea what happened to the ticket. We had it out at one point looking at it on the train, but neither one of us could remember what happened to it. Very strange. We searched all bags and pockets. I don't think that it could have fallen out of the clear window on it's own, although the top quarter or third of it was sticking out and somebody could have pulled it out. That doesn't make sense to me either, but who knows.

Fortunately, the German trains are on the honor system although they do have a conductor randomly checking for tickets. Nobody had questioned us on the first train, and I did still have the receipt for the tickets. But on the receipt, it specifically says "This is not a ticket".

We got on the train and figured we would wing it.

Sure enough, about 20 minutes from our destination the conductor comes buy and asks to see our ticket. Ruth acts surprised when she can't find it, and the guy says "well, keep looking for it and I'll come back".

But he never did, and we got off the train at the airport!

Our accommodation was at a a tennis club about a ten minute walk from the airport. We went into the bar and the guy grabbed a key and said "follow me".

He led us down a residential street to a row house that had been recently converted to apartments. There was a shared kitchen, and our room with bathroom was really nice and modern. By this point it was about 1:30pm and he said we were to come back to the bar at 4:00pm to pay the €54 ($79 CAD, $63 USD) bill.

We relaxed for about three hours and went back to the bar. There was a younger guy there this time, and after we paid the bill, he said "you get a free drink with that, what would you like?"

Well that was a pleasant surprise!

One last German beer before heading to Canada.

But the first one tempted me to have a second one, and Ruth was enjoying her wine as well. We needed to find somewhere for dinner, so this place might as well do.

I had the mushroom schnitzel.

And Ruth had smoked salmon.

Reasonable prices, and the total bill including tip was €26 ($38 CAD, $31 USD).

We slept okay, but we were up at silly o'clock (3:45am) to walk back to the airport in time for our 6:15am flight to Frankfurt.

Lots of people in lines at the check in area, but not many for our actual flight. Still, it was slow going as we expected. Our flight left pretty much on time though, and 45 minutes later we were in Frankfurt airport which is where I am writing this. We have a two and a half hour connection time.

So, next up, an 8 hour flight from Frankfurt to Toronto. I've read that Toronto's Pearson airport is a real circus right now, so we are expecting delays when we get there. Prepared for the worst, but hoping for better.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And in Canada...




2 comments:

  1. Welcome back to Canada, 8 hours to TO. I remember it was always about 9 hours from Edmonton or Calgary to Amsterdam. Enjoy visit with friends and family

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!

      It is still about 9 hours to go from Calgary to Amsterdam but normally going east to west the flight time tends to be longer because you are more often than not flying into the wind which normally slows you down.

      Delete

We love hearing from you! Please take the time to leave a comment...