Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 53

Day 53 Amsterdam to Paris
- Friday 20th August
1st class Eurail passes eh? Look where Debbie had to sit - on the step!! Words to describe today's travel on the trains - chaos.... confusion ...... disorganisation .....panic!!!
The plan was simple: Amsterdam to Brussels. Brussels to Paris.
Firstly, for some reason our tickets from Brussels to Paris cost 94 Euro!! Never been more than 20 Euro before and usually there is at no cost! So we didn't want any delays getting to Brussels. Guess what...we missed the train!!!!
Someone had thrown him/herself in front of the train ahead so we had to get off at Den Haag. "Go to track 5," said the announcement. Jostling with frantic passengers the man at track 5 says go to track 3. Things are heating up. A Mexican
angrily asks the attendant at platform 3, "Where are you going to send us now?"
"Track 1. (where we got off!) It'sot my fault, someone got killed up there! You catch train to Gouda (pronounced Howda) then to Rotterdam then to Brussels."
No way we would make our connection now. What about our bloody 94 Euro?
AND ... there's absolute chaos at every station. Everything is hopelessly delayed, the whole system is right ourt of whack! Poms, South American, Germans (and 2 aussies) all screaming to anyone with a railway badge on, "This train going to Rotterdam?" It's awful to say but I am beginning to feel a niggling dislike for whoever the 'jumper' was.

By this stage, every train is terribly overcrowded - just look at Debbie. It's extremely hot and stuffy. Standing up, squished against hot bodies, I realised I still had my jacket on. I couldn't take it off without stuffing my fingers in someones else's ears!
I thought I was hot, but beside me was a very lean tower of a man whose head was almost touching the ceiling. sweat waa cascading from the end of his chin. "Must be awfully airless up there," I thought as I asked him which station was next. With a flushed face he replied, "NNN..R.. RRRR...ttdd...d...d..dd..mnm!" Just what I needed, a 7 foot, heavy accented German with an outrageous stutter!

They exchanged our tickets and we took off on the 300kph tarin to Paris. With jowls flapping in the wind, teeth bared, hair horizontal and heads stuck to the back of the seat, we arrived at Paris seven minutes before we left!

Needed a night stroll to debrief so we walked to what we thought was Monmatre but it was somewhere else.

**Glenda. Thanks for your lovely comments. Not sure how I reply to them and haven't got your email address. Can you please send it?

Below: A funny French man (perhaps a tad drunk) wanted to be in our photo. Debbie attracts them all the time. She says that's why she married me.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tony and Deb
    I was exhausted just reading about your train encounter!!
    My email is:
    Gary and I head off on our 12 month trip around Aus in 11 days. Will be keeping a blog so will let you know the details when it is up and running.
    Have really enjoyed reading about your amazing trip.