Sunday, April 16, 2000

Up early to our neighbors alarm clock again, at 6:45 am. Had thought yesterday that it started at 7:00; that was because I didn't look at our clock when I first put my head under the pillow and covers to try to drown out the noise. However, I wanted to wake up somewhat early anyway for my trip to München, so it wasn't as bad as it could be...

Got to the train station a bit over an hour early (I didn't know the bus schedule and I'm too used to airlines) so I decided to take an earlier train to Amersfoort, giving me more time for the change to the next train. Both trains are stoptreins, meaning that they stop at all the stops between Utrecht and Amersfoort--but there don't seem to be any. So the difference between a sneltrein and a stoptrein does not seem so great here.

Taking the earlier train means that I get to wait outside instead of inside, which is fine with me. The weather is nice, partly cloudy and somewhere between 40 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Just warm enough to type without gloves on, but cold enough to be pleasantly chilly. Yes, I am a Minnesotan. :-)

I keep having recurring nightmares that I don't have all the documentation I need to pick up the car once I arrive in München, which is ridiculous, because I have far more than I need--I only need my passport and driver's license.

* * *

The train from Amersfoort to Hannover was late, and arrived in Hannover at the time the train to München was supposed to leave, or perhaps a minute or two later. We arrived on platform 11, and the train to München departed from platform 3. I ran full speed ahead whenever there wasn't a crowd in the way, and they must have delayed the train for published connections, because I made it.

However, the joke was on me. I paid extra for first class precisely so that I would have electricity for my laptop so I could get work done on the train--last year, every first class carriage we traveled in using our Eurailpass had 220V outlets. This time, none of them did, so I couldn't get much work done. Read Tolkien and listened to Schoenberg, Chopin, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, and Bach. Was very glad that I purchased noise-canceling headphones--a virtual private compartment.

The joke was also on me when I got to München--I had counted on getting a hotel room through the tourist information desk. They are not open on Sunday, I should have guessed... So I did a very circuitous route for an hour or so, getting money, changing it by buying soda, figuring out and purchasing MVV (general metro area transport) tickets, buying a guidebook with hotel references in it and a map, calling a hotel and reserving a room, then figuring out which of the two underground systems to take to get to the hotel. It will be interesting trying to drive tomorrow...

The TV in the room turned on when I entered the room, and said "Welcome, Mr. Johnson" and when I exited the personalized program, started playing "Geld oder Liebe", a dating game show (as far as I could tell). I expect it would have been funnier if I understood German...