Thursday, December 1, 2011

Aboard DB Bahn

Time to say goodbye to Amsterdam and say hello to Cologne, Germany!

My train leaving for Germany was at 8:04am. I didn’t have time to eat breakfast since I wanted to be at the station at 7:00am. Tsktsk, sayang ang buffet. Getting to the station was easy enough. The next challenge is finding the correct train.

I booked my train ticket via DbBahn before leaving the Philippines. The ticket reflects the time, platform number and the train number. I asked around and some other waiting passengers whether I was waiting at the right spot. There should be no problem right?
Very un-MRT
Then the train arrives even before 08:00am. The train number is the same as the one in the ticket. My fellow waiting passengers boarded the train.

I didn’t.

Until now, I keep going back to that moment... WHY I DIDN’T HOP ON THAT TRAIN? I cannot (or do not) recall any reason. Perhaps Amsterdam wanted me to stay longer? Hahahaha.

It took me another 20 minutes to realize that I was really left behind. And I had my error confirmed by a train staff. My ticket had the most restricted conditions – non-refundable, non-rebookable (read: Cebupacific sale). I chose this type because it was the cheapest and I didn’t plan on changing my itinerary, or missing a train for this instance. I had to shell out an extra €62 (yeap, twice the price) to buy a new ticket. Araaaaykooonamaaaan. Plus, I had to wait for another two hours before the next Cologne-bound train arrives.

Anyway, I have to power up my positive thinking at that time. So I just roamed around the station with my heavy backpack.

*Lightbulb moment*. I still haven’t booked my ticket for my Paris-Amsterdam train ride because the train operator – Thaly’s – does not accept non-EU credit cards. I was planning to book it in Paris. Since I had the time in Amsterdam, I was able to book it. BTW, they only accept credit cards with the chip on them (hooray for BPI credit cards!).

Finally, my second-chance train arrived. I confidently hopped in.
How the train system works:
  • You buy the ticket – online or over the counter
  • You board the correct train 
  • The ticket reflects a seat number. If the train is not full, you can seat anywhere, until someone else claims the seat.
  • You present your ticket to the attendant, when inspected

There are no turnstiles, inspection points and inspecting attendants before you board the train. I guess honesty system works here. You pay a fine if you board a train with no ticket.

The view.

The train was traveling at more than 200kph. There was a screen that reflects the speed. It didn't feel like it. It was a very comfortable non-dizzying 200kph ride.

I didn’t sleep because I had to go down in Cologne – the train’s main destination was Frankfurt. There was no one else to wake me up to remind me of my stop.

Plenty of vacant seats
Finally, Cologne.


  1. hi, have you tried booking for other trains?yung card ko kasi is with metrobank and i have yet to check kung pwede to.lahat kaya ng trains sa europe wont accept non eu cards.pag bpi card ba kahit non eu as long as may chip pwede?

  2. Hi Rey! I tried booking Thalys online (Paris to Amsterdam train) but my credit card was rejected kasi non-EU. I was able to purchase the ticket when I was in Amsterdam na. Sabi sakin, as long as may chip pwede - kahit anong credit card. Pero dun ka makakabili, not online. Thanks for dropping by!

  3. thanks pero i have more questions if you dont mind,so during the visa application ano pinakita mo as proof na may transpo ka na from paris to amsterdam?i thought they need to see that may airline ticket ka na or train ticket?

  4. Hi Rey - I didn't present any proof. I think discretionary if bibilhin mo yung ticket before the visa application. I bought all the plane tickets before the application although not required. I bought the train tickets after my visa was approved (for the Italian trains) and when I arrived in Amsterdam (for the Thalys train).

  5. hi ,update for your other readers, I just booked my ticket thru thalys and it worked even if my card is a non EU card.baka inallow na nila.mabilis kasi tumaas ang presyo so it has to be booked online.

  6. Good to know that Rey! Thanks for that update. At least hindi na hassle to book tix from PH. Yeap, ambilis nga tumaas ng fare.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...