Holy crap, the German ICE trains are nice! They may not be quite as smooth or as sleek as the Japanese Shinkansen, but even for a discount 2nd class fare I ended up in a big private room with a table to eat on, plenty of power outlets to charge my stuff, and even Wifi. Go, Germany!
Too bad the second train on my 3-train-trip from Munich to Amsterdam wasn’t quite so comfy; the seats didn’t recline at all, and I still feel the indentation in my side from trying to sleep across that big plastic armrest. Considering the frequent rustling sounds throughout the night, I can only assume that the two girls with whom I shared my birth had a similar experience.
But far worse than the sleeping discomfort was an idiotic mistake on my part: In my tired delirium I somehow confused “Hannover” with “Hamburg,” oversleeping the transfer and waking up halfway across the country. For a moment I thought I was safe when I realized that both the train I was on and the one I was supposed to transfer to were following the same route – but unfortunately my train turned out to be just slightly slower, bringing me into Hannover just three minutes after the Amsterdam train had departed. D’oh!
Luckily I managed to find an alternative route at no extra cost, so after killing an hour at Mc Donald’s I was on my way once again – though it looked like my plans of arriving at 11am and heading out into the Dutch countryside on bike was shot. I was now looking at a 3-4pm arrival.
At least the extra-long train ride gave me a chance to catch up a bit – on blogging, Anki reviews, and reading ahead in Lonely Planet 🙂