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ICE and Snow – part 1 – stuck in the train going to Holland, Friday Dec. 18th 2009

The weather predictions for the weekend of 19/20 December did not look very prosperous. Snow, freezing, even during the day. It is not only the weekend of the obligatory trip to Holland but also the start of the Winterholidays of bigger parts of Europe. Put 1+1 together and you could expect roads full of trafficjams, snow and accidents around the corner.

On Wednesday I decided to get my traintickets, to go with the german high speed International Train, the ICE. After hours of digging through the website, I gave up finding the cheapest connection, and headed for the service office of the Bahn.

Not much later I walked out of the office with a thick pack of papers and tickets, ready to take off. This did not include my wallet though, but for the price of 2 tanks I at least would have less trafficjams and all the time for myself, not having to focus on the traffic all the time. Just to try out this transport option this seemed to be the right moment.

Taking the train from Frankfurt to Holland …. Friday, December 18th 2009

So.. on Friday the weather prediction came true. Early in the morning it had been snowing already, so the view on “our hill” was very white, the whole garden was shiny white as well

While leaving home to drop of the car we had a beautiful view of a hughe snowcloud being lit by the sun.

It started snowing the second we got into the Airliner in Darmstadt, but while driving to the Flughafen Frankfurt, it stopped again for a while. Not for long though. The “Regenradar” on my phone told me we were going to dive into a cloud of snow soon.

At the Flughafen Airport / Bahnhof we needed to walk to the Fernbahnhof, which was built like a hughe glass “blob”. However, due to the grey clouds, it was all a bit sad-looking.

Not much later we were surprised by the first ICE slowly making its way, with a bit of delay, into the Bahnhof. What a beautiful shape, “fat shiny white” color, it made me think of the Concorde and the russian Concordski :)

Our train should be in at 13:43 – but we already expected a bit of delay. Well, the delay was about 25 minutes, but then after all it arrived and we could go in.

Searching for the right wagon was a bit of a pain, as there was no numbering visible on the outside. After having found out where to look on the inside we made our way through from one side to the other side of the train. We had to be careful, as one part would go to Brussels, the other part to Amsterdam, which is the one we had to be in.

Not much later we were on our way. Just above Frankfurt it was still all green, but this would change quite dramatically.

Just a bit later, while going through the Taunus, a higher hilly bit in the southern part of Hesse, we were already in the first snowstorm. The traffic on the Autobahn was not that crowded, slowed down quite a lot though.

So, from Bonn to Düsseldorf, from Duisburg to Oberhausen …

And just before the sun set, the snow was back again. This was just before the dutch border, which we crossed with quite a bit delay. We arrived at our final destination with over an hour delay, not bad when we heard the news at home, with so many trains that did not depart at all anymore.