After 45 days, I have prided myself on the fact that I have only gotten lost on a regional train once – which was also the first train I took (from Amsterdam to Den Haag). (On the other hand, I have gotten lost on trams inside cities in pretty much every city I have visited.) Well, that record was broken today, when our train literally split in half – with the half I was on going in the wrong direction.
In our defense, when we were attempting to board our train, Ashleigh – my childhood friend traveling with me for the next few cities – and I ran into a group of extremely boisterous men. And decided to board the train cart that the men did not get onto. Unfortunately for us, the men happened to be going towards Zurich, and the portion we had just boarded was not.
Our first hint towards our mistake was when the train ticket taker attempted to inform us – in very broken English – that we would have to change trains. But that didn’t make sense. We had boarded the train at the right platform, right? We were on train 160?
Turns out we were. Only we weren’t. Our train was actually two trains – train 160, in the front two sections; and train 560, in the back two sections. And at some point along the journey, the cable connected the two would be disconnected and they would part ways. And there were absolutely no signs to explain this, in English or in German. (At least I’m assuming not in German; we just didn’t see any signs at all). Let me just say right now – who in their right mind thought of this system?!?!?! I mean, I guess it makes sense, but really?! I mean REALLY?!?! Could you get any more confusing???
THANKFULLY, one stop before the two trains separated, Ashleigh and I realized we were on the wrong train and quickly ran outside, just in time to see the employees disconnecting the two sections and to jump onto the upper section of the train before the doors closed. Downside: the train was completely full so we spent the next five minutes attempting to maneuver Giant through the crowded seats (and even the food cart; I nearly caused the waiter to spill a cup of coffee. And almost took out an old lady.) Eventually we found a table to sit in – three carts from where we got on the train.
But ultimately – and thankfully – this post is not a ‘well, we ended up in a random city in Austria’ post, but rather a ‘well, we almost ended up in a random city’. And I will forever caution people: when the train board says ‘Sections A and B of Platform 3’ – get on at section A/B. Not C/D. Never C/D.
PS Dad – I’m still alive. And by a dumb stroke of luck, not lost.