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?
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.
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 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|