Postcards from the Thalys

Guess where I’m posting from. No, guess! From the train. Wifi* on the train. Free Wifi in first class!

We began the journey from Bruges to Frankfurt this morning. Theoretically it was a simple case of one train switch and 4 hours 30 minutes of total travel time. Best laid plans got a bit bumpy from the beginning when our train from Bruges to Brussels was canceled so we had to take an alternative route. We were running late, but that didn’t really matter because our train from Brussels to Frankfurt was cancelled too.

We joined the few hundred people at the information desks to find a new way to get to Frankfurt. It was incredible. There were so many people, all of whom had not been able to take their trains to other countries (the domestic travel info was in another section). It was cold outside, only a few days before Christmas and nearly everyone was chilled. I think the secret was the “take a number” system. No queuing, no fear of people pushing. And the best bit: those pushy people who decide they need to be served immediately get stonewalled when they approach the counter, “please take a ticket and wait your turn”. Excellent. The average wait was about 1.5 hours, but it was warm so not too bad.

A visit to the info desk and a fair few euros later, MJ and I had first class tickets to Cologne. A few hours after that we’re now on the train and I’m talking to you.

The first things I checked when I got online was the Bahn.de website to check for delays on the German trains. And then I checked the qantas website to check for flight delays. I felt like I was in an insurance advertisement or something. Or a telecoms advertisement. Anyway, the tag line would have been, “for peace of mind…” or something silly like that.

We look just like this lady, but it’s dark outside and I’m wearing winter woollies. And neither of us have blonde hair.

Wish us luck for the next leg of the journey which will hopefully get us to the Frankfurt airport before our plane takes off.

*(pronounced WeeFee – hat tip to Lara)

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3 thoughts on “Postcards from the Thalys

  1. DavidA

    Good job you weren’t planning a train trip to Britain – the Channel Tunnel trains conked out miserably in the cold (or in the heat of the tunnel to be exact). Airport chaos here from the snow too. Don’t come to Britain, it’s rubbish here!

    On a happier note, congratulations on passing 20,000 hits.

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