Like many modern travelers, we Googled various ways means and routes, and decided to take the train from Hamburg Dammtor train station to Aarhus Denmark. It’s a nice quiet picturesque route lasting a little over four hours; it’s a direct train too. So we bought our tickets online at Deutschebahn and relaxed. Though it was only some minutes walk from our hotel to Dammtor, I insisted we start a little after 10:00 a.m., on the grounds that I would walk slowly with my bag and all. So we strolled to the train station in a leisurely way, checked that our train was not announced yet, looked at magazines and foods. 10:30, still no announcement. Sure, the train was to depart at 10:58, but still, I went to Reise Zentrum to ask while my husband went to check where the platform was. Suddenly he rushed back waving frantically, so I grabbed my bag and rushed too. Our train was to depart at 10:38 and it was now 10:36! We barely managed to get upstairs to the platform, fell into the carriage when the whistle already sounded, the doors slid shut behind our backs, and we straightened ourselves with some difficulty. Then my husband went forwards to find our seats and astonished two young men greatly – they just settled down thinking that as the train was on its way nobody was coming to claim their reserved seats. They got up, we plumped down and began to giggle uncontrollably, which is quite a normal reaction in stressful situations. When the conductor appeared my husband showed him our printed out tickets and asked why the train left earlier. Answer: Die. Zeit ist OK aber nicht Heute! We correctly interpreted it as: The time is Ok but not today. Being of an inquisitive mind, my husband wanted to inquire further but I stopped him.
We sat there, enjoying the views and occasionally getting a glimpse into the enginemaster’s cabin right in front of us, with its panoramic front window, tall chairs and instruments panel.
In a little while, some commotion started. Then an announcement followed in several languages, to the effect that toilets in all three carriages stopped working. But they said wait a little, we’ll connect another carriage at one of the stations, and hopefully you’ll be able to use that toilet. Now everybody started to giggle uncontrollably. Indeed, once our short train stopped at a station, another carriage was affixed to it – in the front! Everybody watched agog as railway workers somehow quickly dismantled the driver’s cabin, pushed it aside and opened up a new through way into the just connected carriage. There was a concerted rush through. I looked at the swaying connection and decided to carry my juices with me to our destination.
Though we started early we arrived late, with many apologies to those who had to continue on their journey. They missed their connecting trains so alternative routes were offered. As of us, we got our at Aarhus main train station, walked five minutes to our hotel and enjoyed all the modern conveniences it offered.
Needless to say, before our return journey we’ll check and double check all the times, train numbers, platforms et cetera!