Tuesday, August 30, 2022 @ 8:25 PM in 2022 Germany and France
Today started out reasonably well. We both got some sleep and Sam ran downstairs to the coffee shop and picked us up some Chai. We made some croissant sandwiches for breakfast, finished packing and then went down to the train station to catch our first train of the day. We thought it might take a while to find our gate but it was actually pretty easy. With some time to kill, Sam set off to find another coffee and a snack.
We boarded our train and got settled in for the 3 hour ride to Mannheim. It was pretty uneventful, although we were losing time at each stop and we weren't sure if we'd make our 11 minute layover from Mannheim to Strasbourg. Lunch was leftover pizza from last night, which was actually pretty decent on the train. Some of the towns and countryside we passed through were really neat. Many of the towns had cathedrals or towers in the middle of them. Near Stuttgart, there were some vineyards on what looked like sheer cliffs too. When we left Stuttgart, the train said it was running 8 minutes late but we made up a little bit of time. Before arriving in Mannheim, they showed a list of updated connections and showed that our train to Strasbourg was also running a little late. With a sigh of relief, we didn't need to rush to get to the other gate.
Once we got to Mannheim, we got off and went to gate 5 where it said our train would be. We were supposed to be on the TGV9580 which went direct to Strasbourg. This is where the day went from chill to stress-fest. Our train was supposed to depart at 2:48 (after delays) and at 2:47 a train pulled up to gate 5. Not thinking anything about it, we got right on the train, found car 11 and sat down. One of the seats we were supposed to be in was taken, but that didn't seem too weird since some people kinda sit wherever they want and then move if the person with the reservation comes. Right as the doors shut and the screens updated to show the next stop, I realized we were on the wrong train. This one was going right back to Stuttgart (about 40 minutes away), and not Strasbourg.
With no other options, we were stuck on the train and had to figure out another way to get to Strasbourg from Stuttgart. The train we were supposed to be on was the only direct from Mannheim, so backtracking to Mannheim again wasn't going to help us out. We found some regional trains that would require two different transfers but would ultimately get us to Strasbourg (albeit, 2.5 hours after we were supposed to get in).
Back in Stuttgart, we jumped on our first train which was an extremely overcrowded commuter to Karlsruhe with a 50 minute ride time. Once in Karlsruhe, we got on another packed train to Appenweier. This one was doubly annoying because our huge roller bag took up like 3/4 of the aisle so every time someone wanted to walk by, they had to shimmy around the bag. There weren't any restrooms on this train either and Dakotah was in serious need of changing. With several delays and stops, we finally made it to Appenweier after about 45 minutes.
Due to the train being late, we missed our connection in Appenweier but fortunately there were trains running every 30 minutes to Strasbourg. This at least gave us time to change Dakotah at the train station (on the top of our suitcase in the parking lot, lol). At 6:11 we jumped on our last train of the day and made the 11 mile journey across the Rhine river into France.
After finally arriving in Strasbourg, we had to jump on the tram to take us into town. The tram station we got off at was just a couple hundred feet from the Airbnb which was convenient. What wasn't so convenient was having to carry a 50 pound roller bag up 3 flights of several hundred year old stairs to get to our apartment. After a lot of sweating (I was carrying Dakotah, my backpack and the roller bag), we made it and were able to get to our room.
By now it was well after 7pm and we were tired, hungry and thirsty. We gave Dakotah a quick clothes swap and then went back downstairs to eat at a microbrewery and restaurant called La Lanterne, directly across from our Airbnb. Sam and I each got a beer (I had an amber and she had a weissebier). For food, I got a chicken cordon bleu with spatzel and mushroom sauce while Sam got a burger and fries. All the food and beer was good but we were super stuffed and tired.
Since it was already dark out, we decided to take a walk to Strasbourg's Notre Dame Cathedral which wasn't too far away. The cathedral took a couple hundred years to build (starting in the 1100's) and looks really neat, especially at night. We walked around the entire cathedral then made our way back to the Airbnb. Unfortunately due to historical regulations, they couldn't put A/C in the unit so have a couple of fans blowing to try and cool it down. It was still really hot in the room but not too long after getting home it started raining which helped cool things down considerably (it also helped get people off the streets, which was pretty loud from our open windows).
Before boarding train #1
On the train before the SNAFU`
Beers at La Lanterne
Notre Dame in Strasbourg
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germany, munich, trains, france
Posted from: France