Hawkes Bay NZ Water trail

Monday, June 10, 2013

The 12:06 ICE from Hamburg to Berlin

Although I've been paying attention to the tidal level in the Elbe, it seems the flood surge isn't due for a few more days. Instead, a town outside Berlin had a dam break or a lake overflow yesterday, and the train to Berlin is affected.
I've been trying to piece together information by looking at the news screens in the Hauptbahnhof, trying to decipher the newspaper headlines, and , when I have wifi, using a BBC news app on my smartphone.
This should have been an easy 1.5 hour trip with plenty of unreserved seats. Instead it started out like a train trip in Southern Italy, all messed up with a guided tour group in the wrong carriage looking for their reserved seats, several school groups piled on top of each other, and an Alaskan Husky and owner trying to squeeze down the aisle.
Still, once I saw the young mother with an infant, I moved in for the kill and snagged a seat. My seat buddies are a man in a business suit acting so uncomfortable I know he just wants to complain, and a young muscle bound guy who has difficulty fitting his large legs under the table we're all sharing. I managed to shove Wm the Conqueror between the glass carriage door and the back of my seat. I guess I'm getting good at reading the trains.
We're only 15 minutes late and the boring countryside is zipping by in a green 200kph blur.
Sadly I think the train's so packed the guy with the wheeled coffee urn and box of snacks isn't going to make his rounds. A shame as today I'd planned to buy a coffee.
Thank god I didn't choose to travel to Salzburg via Munich today. That is a seriously long trip, with luck, only involves 1 mad scramble in Munich to change trains from an ICE to something slower. I'm sort of planning that one in a week or so, depending on flood conditions. I still darn well want to see the Austrian Alps.

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