Frankfurt Day 1

2007.04.27 1:40 PM

In ICE 221, carriage 27, seat 031 – Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof

At 11:15 AM I closed my frontdoor (actually, I don’t have a backdoor) in the Paramaribostraat and I walked towards the tramstop for line 9 towards The Hague Central Station.

At The Hague CS I bought some snacks at the AH-To-Go and as the Intercity to Arnhem was late, I was able to catch this train, instead of a next one. On the way over to Frankfurt this trip, I am travelling in style. The guy at the International Trains desk had secured a first class train ticket for me, for a lower price than a simple second class ticket – I still have no idea how he managed that! So, here I am seated comfortably in first class, by myself (a single seat), waiting for the train to really pick up speed.

Arnhem is the next stop, and after that, I’m hoping this ICE will really show its class.

It seems more people decided to travel to Frankfurt at this time, because this carriage is filled with dutchies ready to conquer Germany. This unfortunately includes a bunch of loud and obnoxious, roudy group of people. So far, they have consumed at least 4 beers (and this only from what I could with starting point Utrecht – they got on the train at Amsterdam), and I’m afraid they’ll travel all the way to Frankfurt with me.

Hopefully, however, they will get off at Dusseldorf or Cologne.

2007.04.27 2:40 PM

In ICE 221, carriage 27, seat 031 – Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof

Train is stuck at Emmerich, because of small fires next to the traintrack. An announcement has just come on to explain that we are allowed to leave again. The annoying rowdy group of people is now shouting amongst themselves trying to find out about their connection, but because of their loud mouths, the rest of the carriage is missing the announcements!

Hmm, good news however, the roudy lot will need a connection to another train at the next stop (Oberhausen), so they will get off the train!

Meanwhile, I need to go to the bathroom, but I will have to shut off the computer, pack it and bring my bag with me.

2007.04.27 3:55 PM

In ICE 221, carriage 27, seat 031 – Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof

Okay, in the Netherlands it is easy to bad mouth the national transportation system because it is so shitty, but after a 50 minute delay, the always admired Deutsche Bahn (DB) seems just as prone to random delays as the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS).

As we’re not stopping at Cologne (this was announced at the Dusseldorf station), this train is finally picking up speed. Getting less and less bumpy (slow travel is so annoying), the displays over the doors are indicating a current speed of approximately 150 km/h.

I have been SMS-ing (text messaging) my friend Katie each hour, keeping her up do date on the itinirary. With all these delays, she might even be able to pick me up from Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof herself. The roudy party has left the train – they had to change trains to Berlin at Duisburg station – and it is certainly much quieter in this carriage now.
When I leave again on Wednesday, I’ll be traveling second class and I hesitate to wonder what that will be like!

I’m glad I have taken my already trusty MacBook Didius with me on this trip, as I will be able to check out some of the movies Katie must have on her PC, and I will also be able to keep all the photos I’m going be taking.

Announcement just came over the intercom, we are stopping at Cologne! All these poor people who were sitting comfortably in this train, were told to change to another ICE train at Dusseldorf.

So far this train has been delayed by:
– late departure from Amsterdam because of small fires alongside the tracks, which resulted in a late departure from Utrecht
– between Arnhem and Oberhausen, the train was stopped by main control, because of small fires alongside the tracks just north of Emmerich.
– announcement at Dusseldorf this train would not be stopping in Cologne because of problems with the track-changing systems

What I can remember from a previous trip to Frankfurt – with work, visiting the Frankfurter Buchmesse – this train ride is going to finally start now. The track between Cologne and Frankfurt are really build for the high speeds they are capable of. Let’s hope with these high speeds, we can catch up on the major delays.

‹rant 2007.05.02›
So much for this being an international intercity express. Between Cologne and Frankfurt, the train stopped at almost all the stations in between. When I finally arrived at Frankfurt Hbf, the train was one hour late. Luckily Katie had send me a text message with the times for the S-bahn 6 to her house. She was waiting patiently, as I kept missing train after train. Finally, at 18:someting, I had an S-bahn, and after 2 years we met up again.