We’ve never been to Munich, nearby but we were with our young kids (and my father) and it was fall and so we avoided Oktoberfest on purpose. We had the evening in a hotel outside Paris to do laundry (very romantic, but Bill did most of the work so it sort of was) while I talked to a woman at the bar. In the morning we set off for Gare du Nord on an RER train from the airport.
Walked from there – on the streets of Paris again! – to Gare de l’est for our train to Munich.
A little bittersweet to see these signs when we entered – for those who don’t know I fell and broke my leg and dislocated my knee on a Loire valley trip – requiring two surgeries and still not in great shape.
There is a piano in the station and anyone can play it – this man was very good and the elderly man by him was tapping along to the tune with his cane, totally engrossed in the music. During our wait, several people played.
So different in a train station than an airport. For one thing – no huge security hassle. People run in at the (very) last moment. You wait until 20 minutes before the train leaves when they put up which track your train will be on and then everyone waiting moves toward that track. This was our train, on the right.
I downloaded an app and tracked the speed of the train – but the speedometer looks like it only went up to 200 mph and the train was at least that fast – it showed the maximum on the app. They do regularly go 200 MPH, highest speed ever was over 300 MPH for these high speed trains. You could tell it was faster than a car mostly because the power line poles going by were almost invisible to the eye.
Now, I had chosen this train because it was a through train to Munich – no changes to have to haul our luggage out and over to another track. But Deutschbahn had other ideas in Stuttgart, after a few minutes in Stuttgart, they announced some long message in German and French but they were not easy to hear. Then in English, they literally said “This train is not going to Munich. Get off this train now.” So we did.
Someone told us later that they had a problem with the train going to Paris and this one was going to turn around and go back. We had to wait (luckily not long) for another train to Munich – but forget reserved seats and if you were unlucky, having a seat at all. We got one though and had some interesting companions in our little compartment. First there was a mom and her little son who kept turning the heat up in the car – I think mom was telling him to leave it alone but not sure she realized what he was doing. Bill would try to turn it back down when the little boy wasn’t looking. Also we had an elderly man who either did not speak German fluently or just didn’t speak well. He kept asking when the train would get to Munich and if it was in fact going to Munich. A young man from Nigeria answered him so patiently every time that it was going to Munich and approximately how long it would be. We learned that this young man was studying to be a nursing aide for elderly patients and dementia patients. I told him I knew he’d be good at it by what a patient and kind person he was.
Anyway we did eventually get to Munich maybe ½ late only and got to our apartment. So next post will be our day in Munich.