The train doesn’t stop at Apeldoorn

My train left Copenhagen Central station at 05:17 this morning. I left the hotel at 04:30. I was awake from 03:30, giving me time for a coffee. In that hour, three different groups of people stood on the corner outside the hotel and talked. They weren’t drunk or loud, just very early. I really wanted to know why. I’ll never know.

Very early at Copenhagen Station, either people are waiting for an early train or they’re groups of drunks heading home. It’s rather funny when a group of drunk men meet a group of drunk women and they all think they’re being funny, sexy and cool. The only thing open was McDonald’s. Funnily enough, the station was remarkably quiet.

The train to Hamburg was very comfortable and not very busy. There was a lot of sleeping on board.

It’s still law to wear a mask on public transport in Germany. However, it is not in Denmark or the Netherlands. We therefore have the crazy situation where, as soon as we crossed the border, we had to all don masks. We then had to keep them on until we crossed the border into the Netherlands.

We had lots of warnings from the train guy. No one in my carriage put one on until they absolutely had to. Then, as we arrived at the Danish German border at Padborgst, a whole bunch of people joined the train not wearing masks. A young couple sat opposite me, maskless. The train guard soon rectified that.

Eventually, we arrived at Hamburg for a change of train. Obviously, we could all take our masks off in the crowded station.

I was delayed by another train. Not that I minded. I went in search of bratwurst. It was a search that I was successful in.

For a while I wasn’t sure I’d get one. You could get all sorts of food. I walked up and down the concourse by McDonald’s, Burger King, noodle places, pizza. I’d almost given up hope.

Then, like a meat beacon, I saw a sign. It was a very nice sign. As was the bratwurst.

Eventually, the train pulled in and there was the usual bun fight to get on. I’m getting quite good at finding gaps in the crush. I took my seat and watched the crazy people in the aisle.

I sat next to a lady with breathing difficulties and a dog. Always nice to say hi to a dog on a train. I didn’t waste the opportunity. In fact, I looked after the dog while the lady with the breathing difficulties went to the loo. We became good friends. Though, obviously, language was a problem. The lady’s mask didn’t help her breathing difficulties.

It’s definitely a must, booking a seat in advance on these trains. The number of people catching them on spec is remarkable. On the busy trains there are no seats at all and people end up standing or sitting on the floor.

My next change was at Osnabrück, most notable for being one of the two places where the signing of the Peace of Westphalia took place at the end of the Thirty and Eighty Years Wars, both of which prove that religion kills more than it saves. Osnabrück was also a member of the Hanseatic League. It was also another welcome chance to remove the masks for half an hour.

And my final train had no luggage space. Everything had to go on the overhead racks. This has happened twice. Something I need to remember is to pack light in future. I can lift the parrot bag up to the rack but it feels a bit risky. Particularly when you’re in a hurry. Usually someone jumps in to help me, which is very helpful and much appreciated.

As we crossed the border into the Netherlands, the new Dutch train guard (the train changes crew as we reach each border) told us all we could get rid of the masks. There was a general removal by most passengers. So much nicer. A couple of Swedish guys near me almost cheered.

The young German woman with the very high voice, sitting next to me, left her mask on for the entire trip. I thought that was quite sad.

Actually, the change of train guard meant a far more entertaining series of announcements. The Germans were fine if you understood German, but their English extended to the name of the stop. The Dutch guy did a whole shtick in three languages.

One memorable announcement was how people could get to Apeldoorn since the train wasn’t stopping there. Must be a popular destination though apart from defunct paper manufacturing, three McDonald’s and the most second-hand car dealers in the Netherlands, I can’t see why.

Finally, after almost 12 hours on trains, I arrived back in Amsterdam. Back dodging cyclists, tourists, buses and cars. I dragged my stuff to the Hotel Library. And, would you believe it, for the first time, I’m on the ground floor.

I wheeled my mill stone to my room then immediately set off in search of a beer. I really needed a beer. And I found one. Or two.

For dinner I just stopped at the first place I came to. I was ignored by the staff so I stopped at the second place I came to and enjoyed a lovely Indonesian meal. As I said to the woman, it’s been a long time since I’ve had Indonesian food (I think the last time was on our first trip to St Malo) and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Then back to the hotel for an early night of much needed sleep.

This entry was posted in Gary's Posts, Sweden 2022 [Gaz]. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The train doesn’t stop at Apeldoorn

  1. Mirinda says:

    So your last Indonesian meal was in Brittany! Actually I remember it.
    Glad so many people help you.
    Stupid masks.

  2. Pingback: Change of emphasis | The House Husband

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