Europe by train. Are we there yet?

So we are trying to make the most of our home in Europe and use it as a base to explore different parts of the World. We managed to get ourselves some cheap train tickets to Berlin so booked them and planned ourselves a long weekend. We have done train trips with Miss A before and for us, it is an ideal way to travel with a little one.

The trains move when they hit Germany. 

Our first hurdle was that with cheap train tickets, you don’t get an allocated seat. That was OK we were happy to find some seats. As it  turned out we were finding seats for a good part of the trip. The Friday morning train was very popular and there was a mad dash at Amsterdam Centraal with all the students trying to find seats that were not allocated. They all seemed very used to the  process of scrambling for a seat. We as novices struggled for the first 20 minutes or so. As it turned out, it was quite a full train so we had to gamble on someone not getting on through the trip. We managed to get ourselves 4 seats and table which lasted until the next big stop in Hannover (about half way). Hannover saw 100’s more get on the train and it was here we had to give up our comfy four seats and table to then sit on top of whoever would let us. On top of this the train became so full it was probably about 45 minutes before everyone either got a seat or just gave up and sat on the steps in between carriages. 

The family enjoying our packed lunch on the train. 

We eventually parked ourselves in the dinner carriage and managed to keep our spot for the last two hours of the journey to Berlin while we continually ordered drinks. Even with this seat hurdle it was still easier than checking in luggage and getting on and off a plane so it worked out OK. We also learned how to plan it better next time.

Miss A with Chippies and iPad and new toy train and
colouring and a view and………… 

We arrived to a very hot Berlin which hit a highs for the summer with a week of 30 degrees plus. Not a bad temperature for an Australian family and as the humidity was far less than NL it was actually quite nice.

On the way home we had a plan to find ourselves a seat. With military precision we burst on to the train before anyone else, landed ourselves an unreserved seat with a table for Miss A to play on and packed our luggage and pram into the available space. It was a pretty comfortable ride home where everyone got a to have a brief nap. 

We got home to a very wet Haarlem but it was a nice contrast to the steamy hot Berlin. 

More details on the trip to follow. 

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