Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Best Made Plans of Mice and Travellers - When Things Go Wrong

We had a good morning leaving the Mondi Grundlsee Resort. Everything worked according to plan: we arose early, showered, I shaved, we dressed, packed, cleaned up our studio apartment and then headed for our last breakfast.

Chris had muesli and a pancake with jam. I had a piece of toast with cheese and ham topping and a plate of fruit. It was supposed to keep us going for most of what was left of the day. And it did, as our minds were elsewhere.
We managed to share a taxi to Bad Aussie train station with another couple, so our fare was half what it would have been. Doing good so far. Then it happened ... it all turned to shit at Salzburg.
When we arrived at Salzburg, for some reason better known to someone else, we got on the wrong train. Yes, you read that correctly. In a panic to change trains, we got on a train returning to near where we had come from and not the train to Innesbruck. So we unneedlessly loaded our baggage onto a train taking us the wrong way. After about five minutes, we realised that we had erred. Needless to say, the train's first stop was an hour out of the starting point, at Linz.

We enjoyed viewing all the Austrian countryside that we had now seen three times, as we discussed how anyone as intelligent, well educated and travelled as we are could be so bloody stupid. Then we realised that shit happens and we would just go with the flow. What else could we do?

Things got better at Linz. We had time to scratch ourselves and grab a snack and drink and when Christina told our sorry tale to the ticketing people, they put us on a train direct to Innesbruck meaning we didn't have to return to Salzburg.

We loaded our considerable amount of luggage onto the Innesbruck train and thought we were cooking with gas. That is until we got to Belzano with only five minutes to change trains for the remainder of the trip to Merano. We could do it, especially since the nice ticket conductor had told us it was leaving from platform one.

We quickly offloaded our gear and headed for platform one using two lifts (elevators), both of which were the slowest we have ever seen. But we made it to platform one with two minutes to spare only to find the train closed down.

After we heard an announcement in Italian which we deciphered to mean the Merano train would now be leaving from platform five, we rushed to the lift and headed for platform five. Guess what? We missed the bloody train by about 10 seconds. It drove off as we headed to the doors with our bags.

Shortly after I finished my display of indecent and obscene language (thank goodness nobody was nearby), we trudged back to the main station area to see if there were any later trains. There was ... exactly one hour later and I'm sitting on it while I type this blog.

I've regained my composure, gotten over my guilt about my childish outburst of bad language, and regret that we couldn't advise our resort that we will be arriving late because we don't have the phone number, can't read an Italian telephone book, and really don't give a rat's bootlace anyway.

It can only get better from here.


Traveller's rule one: Never carry more than one small suitcase and a backpack

Traveller's rule two: Never carry more than one small suitcase unless you can't avoid it

Traveller's rule three: Never carry more than a backpack unless it's absolutely essential

Traveller's rule four: Always record every telephone number you think you could possibly need in your mobile phone. I'ts much easier than trying to read phone books in foreign languages.


Anonymous said...

Hope you've had more luck since then!

Robin said...

Yes, thank you, we have done alright. Given that we have been travelling for three months nearly, we have been lucky.

Thanks for your comment.