Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Oberammergau Part 1 - The Trip

Here's an account of my trip to Oberammergau in probably too great detail ;)

... Okay, I was going to post this as just one long entry, but I'm obviously even more long-winded than usual, so I'll split it up in two - the trip down there, and the play itself.

I left work early on Thursday in order to get to Copenhagen central station by 3:30pm as the train left at 3:45pm. We arrived a bit early, which turned out to be a good thing, as Lars sent me a text message saying, "Assuming I'm in the area and want to say goodbye - where could I find you?" He was out trainspotting and happened to be on one of the neighbouring stations, so he jumped on a train and arrived in time to give me a kiss goodbye. I thought that was sweet :)

The first part of the trainride was uneventful, and we arrived to Rødby Ferry exactly on time... Unfortunately the ferry didn't, and we ended up being half an hour late getting across to Germany! We had a 70 minute stop-over in Hamburg, so it wasn't a problem yet, but we didn't want to get much more delayed. Fortunately no further delays occurred, so we were only the expected 30 minutes late to Hamburg - no problem at all, and it still left Mum and me plenty of time for a dessert-smoothie ;) (we'd had dinner on the ferry which was delicious and surprisingly reasonably priced!)

About 15 minutes before the train for Munich was supposed to leave, we went down to the track, only to discover that it was 15 minutes late! No problem - while we didn't have much time to change in Munich, the trains from there left every hour, and we had plenty of time to reach Oberammergau, so we weren't worried. We were impatient though, so when the 15 minutes grew to 25 we got increasingly restless! It finally arrived though, and we got settled in our compartment. They were TINY though! Previously when we've taken the night train, we've usually had much bigger cabins, so there was room to move around and get comfortable even when not lying in bed. Not so here. There was room for a bed and a sink and not much else. Mum and Dad's compartment was even worse, as they had bunk beds AND lower to the ceiling, so there was no place Dad could stand up straight, and the only place they could sit up straight was on the floor. Mum and Dad ended up spending most of the awake time with me, as I had a single room so there was a tiny bit more room.

We played a couple of rounds of Bezzerwizzer (and - of course - listened to Skimbleshanks, the Railway Cat from Cats - that's a must!) and then went to bed. By then it was 11pm, and the train would arrive in Munich at 7am, so we figured we'd better get some sleep, as we had a long day ahead of us.

That was easier said than done though. The bed wasn't all that comfortable, and the pillow even less so, so I didn't sleep much. It didn't bother me though - I've always found the movemet of a train to be soothing, so while I didn't fall into a deep sleep, neither did I toss and turn as I would have, had I been home. I still ended up turning on the lights and grabbing my book half an hour before my alarm clock rang though ;)

After a quick breakfast (served on the train) we got off the train in Munich and went to find the regional train that would take us onwards via Murnau to Saulgrub. Thanks to Lars (I may tease him about his geekiness, but it comes in REALLY handy at times!) we knew exactly which track it would leave from, and were able to head there immediately.... only to discover that a cable had been cut between Munich and Murnau, so we'd only be able to take the train half way, and then had to change to a replacement bus instead! For those keeping track, that means there was an issue with all three trains so far! It was starting to get just a tad too funny for our likings.

It didn't end there though - we got the first replacement bus without any issues, and quickly arrived at Murnau... where the next replacement bus was just about to leave right in front of us! (not terribly smart to leave before the connecting bus arrives, but what do I know...) Thankfully our busdriver yelled out the window and got him to stop and wait for us (I'd hoped to have just 5 minutes break there, as I really, really needed to pee! Thankfully the next bus had a build in WC). We drove on towards Saulgrub, and got out of the bus when the busdriver announced "This stop, Saulgrub!" only to discover that we were in the middle of nowhere! Thankfully the bus hasn't left yet, so we were able to ask the bus driver if it really was Saulgrub. No, that was the next stop - he had made a mistake in the announcement! He was suitably horrified and apologized many times for making the wrong announcement, and just before the next stop announced, "This is definitely Saulgrub!"

From Saulgrub there were another 4.5km to our hotel. Worst case we could easily walk that (would take about an hour), but we hoped to be able to find a taxi - especially as it chose this moment to start pouring down. However, there were no taxis around at all, so Dad went to see if there was a bus we could take instead. There was, but it didn't leave for another hour and 20 minutes. We were just debating what to do, when a local came up and when he heard of our plight, he asked us which hotel we were staying at. We told him, "Ah! My sister-in-law works there!" (at least I think it was his SIL... my German is only so-so), and he proceeded to call up the hotel and get somebody there to come pick us up! You'd better believe we were very, very grateful!

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