7th June part two: I suppose it was all the D-day stuff that brought the war into my mind as I travelled through Belgium and northern Germany. However this day of my trip has turned out a bit shorter than expected, with the train breakdown causing a series of events that have ended up with me staying the night at a very nice hotel in Malmo instead of pressing grimly on to Stockholm. It has also resulted in me having to rebook my train from here to Stockholm and my ferry to Helsinki. I now sail direct to Helsinki instead of to Turku, which means one less train journey. This way I should only miss about an hour of the conference, which won’t be much more than I would have done if I had been so worn out that I couldn’t resist having a long line on Monday morning.
The journey from Copenhagen to here was a bit fraught as it involved going to the airport and trying to find a bus that looked as if it might be on its way to Malmo, then being dropped off the bus in a sort of outpost of Malmo and, after talking to some men in hi-vis vests who looked as if they might know something, being put on a train to Malmo Central to get to the official info desk. Having established that there were no more trains to Stockholm today, the very nice booking clerk got me on a train first thing in the morning at no extra cost, and I’ve since rebooked my ferry online.
Fortunately I could get a room at the first hotel I went I to – I hope nobody else I know ever gets stranded in Malmo, but if they do I recommend the Malmo Comfort Hotel for its very pleasant staff and fantastic grilled salmon.
7th June: I decided to keep on writing posts although it has been impossible since I left the UK to find WiFi that works, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to get them online.
I got up so early that there’s a lovely sunrise going on as we leave Cologne and head for Hamburg by what seems a circuitous route but may not be, my knowledge of geography being on the sparse side. There are more people about than is usual in Edinburgh at this time of day.
I don’t want to sound as if I am in the pay of East Coast trains, but having just breakfasted on a rather odd cheese sandwich with mayonnaise and gherkins, washed down with warm Coke, both of which I had to talk the lady in charge of the on board bistro into selling me after she had insisted she had no food or drink, I am not sure why we seem to have the idea that our trains are worse than anyone else’s. The seats on this IC train are uncomfortable too and the lights in my compartment aren’t working.
Just changed on to an ICE train in Hamburg with 10 mins to spare. So far, so good, but I haven’t found out about the coffee situation yet.
Ah – just received a coffee voucher so there must be coffee on this train somewhere. I’m waiting until after Puttgarden to go and look for it – that’s where the whole train drives on board a ferry.
A bit later… that was exciting! It’s hard to believe the whole train just goes inside the ferry – but it definitely does. It has its own part of the lower deck, with buses etc alongside. All the passengers get off and go upstairs, where there are duty free shops, restaurants and other shops. The crossing takes 45 mins and I was slightly miffed only to have found somewhere to buy chips as we were nearly there.
DB have now redeemed themselves with coffee in real mugs.
Ok – now they’ve counterbalanced the coffee by getting us stranded in a place called Nykobing on the flimsy pretext that the train has broken down. This is very annoying as it means I will probably miss my train to Stockholm and my ferry to Finland tomorrow. I am trying hard not to panic. When will there be WiFi again? Will I get to the conference in time to present my very important paper? Aaaaaah!