Sunday, February 3, 2013

The time I survived the night as a homeless person

I just got back from Copenhagen, and getting there was its own adventure. I had to take 5 trains over a 12 hour period. Even the fastest way takes over 6 hours and 2-3 trains. And costs more than twice as much. So I decided to take the trip overnight, save a night in a hostel, and not waste a day travelling. However, I didn't really pay attention to where I was going to have to spend 3 1/2 hours.

Instead of going directly from Hannover to Hamburg, which is really easy and fast and I have no idea why Deutsche Bahn couldn't just send me there, I had a layover in Uelzen from 01:38-05:01. Where of course the actual train station part (by that I mean someplace with doors. and benches) is closed from 9:30pm-5am. It wasn't as cold as it could have been - 6.8° C according to a bank I passed - but it was very, very windy. And the only bench not out in the open was right where the wind was being channelled under the tracks. So what was there to do but go for a stroll and do some sightseeing?

Uelzen has a very nice little old town, in case you were wondering. But after, oh, about 10 minutes, the wind was blowing me over and I was really tired and a little creeped out wandering around a deserted town at 2am. I saw some bright lights and saw it was one of those little covered shopping center things. Which meant it kind of blocked the wind, and even better - there was a bench! I ended up dozing off for a little while, but I got cold even with all my clothes piled on top of me and the wind kept making strange noises that were freaking me out.

I made my way back to the train station and found what I was looking for in the first place: a little closed in waiting area with benches and standing water on the floor that smelled like pee where I kind of slept until 4:13am when I was too cold and had to look ridiculous an march in place for 45 minutes even when I knew people waiting on another platform could see me.

And then my ticket didn't even get checked until I was in Flensburg, the tippy top of Deutschland and within walking distance of Denmark, so that was a waste. I'm still not sure why I couldn't have spent 4 hours in say, Hamburg at a really nice train station not in the middle of nowhere, but at least I get to check off another place I've been to.

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