|Rothenburg ob der Tauber|
A travel tale gone wrong
After a thoroughly good morning of sightseeing around the fairy tale town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, I walked back to the train station to catch the 3:06 p.m. train to Würzburg which was my home base in Franconia. I was early so I took the opportunity to sit down and rest my aching feet inside the train station where it was warm and cozy. The train arrived on time and we took off for the hour ride home. Or so I thought. Soon after we left the station, I heard an announcement in German which I didn’t understand completely but from which I inferred that something wasn’t quite right. After Steinach where we had to change trains, there was another announcement and in Uffenheim, we were all asked to get off the train. I gathered through an English speaking passenger that we were going to be picked up by a bus as our train could not continue due to an obstruction at one of the stations up ahead.
We waited for the bus. And waited some more. There was nowhere to sit outside the train station which was closed for the day. It was getting colder by the minute as the sun was fading away and light rain started to fall. My legs were hurting from standing and after the long walk earlier in the day. It was a good thing I had a beanie to warm my head and ears but I forgot my gloves at the hotel. The bus arrived about an hour later. The driver took us to various train stations where some passengers disembarked. They were mostly kids going home from school. The rest of us were dropped off in Winterhausen where we would take the train bound for Würzburg. Unfortunately, we had just missed a train going in that direction so we had to wait another forty minutes for the next one.
It was a clear, cold night and the temperature was hovering around 48°F. I saw one woman open her suitcase and pulled out her coat. The train station was closed. We were all huddled on the platform around a tiny shelter similar to that of a bus stop. There were no rest rooms in sight. I counted the seconds hoping to advance time a little faster until I was down to the final sixty. I checked the information display screen for the umpteenth time and saw to my dismay that the train would be delayed by 5 minutes. It was incredible that this could happen on this very night after the tedious journey! Five minutes is a short time to wait but after waiting for forty minutes in the frigid night air, it was cruel!
At long last the train arrived. We scrambled to find seats and tried to warm up a little while the other passengers queued by the restroom. As it turned out, we were only 12 minutes away from Würzburg. Why couldn’t the bus take us there instead of making us wait for the train under such circumstances? So close, yet so far. I was so grateful when we alighted in Würzburg where I had a hot meal before slipping into a warm bed to rest like a princess. Ah, the princess in the un-fairy tale.
Image by TravelswihCharie