Excuse Me, Sorry You Can’t Sleep

A great part of train travel can be laying out flat on the opposite vacant seat. This is far better than winning with a whole row of 3 on a plane. The train seats in compartments create a full bed! Huge win when you can get it. During the high season of the summer it is nearly impossible without booking the extra seats which of course doubles the cost of travel.

What might it be like to wake up two travelers from Denmark in Germany at 9:30am who have scored this great find? With beds laid out, shoes off, heat on to make the compartment cozy…

Well,,,,,the Giants know what it might be like.

9:25am Deutsche Bahn Dortmund to Hamburg shows up a few minutes late and the overhead announcement in the station says that the cars have been reassigned.

Boarding the train staff curtly shares that there are no seat reservations and that everyone must find seats where they can. Easy for the groups sizes 1-3. A head start was clearly achieved by those with more than 1 year of high school German. A kind enough English speaking passenger translated into the Giant’s native tongue and the train wide search began. After a full pass through the only seats together were two in one compartment – taken by the two oldest Giant children. And next to that compartment were the two whose sock covered feet are pictured here:

Guten morgen would have been a way to start this conversation upon reflection. Let’s all pretend that it started that way and that the four seatless Giants made life long friends from Denmark and that all will be summering in Greece together next year. Truth is different, including a German woman who left her bag in the compartment looking for a better option returning and graciously finding a single elsewhere (maybe as this is typed she is wondering the halls?!).

As time passes it is clear that the problem is getting worse as more weary travelers go car to car hoping for the luck of waking up the Danes train stop after train stop. Given multiple passes, questioning looks, and sad faces clearly many may be standing including the Father of Giants by the end of this ride.

The staff is ok. Do not fret. They have two full compartments (12 seats) so that all 5 of them have a place to sit. Expressing frustration to Deutsche Bahn staff that were moments earlier fluent in English quickly turns into a lesson in customer service. You know the training videos on how to make your prison guests feel welcome – it is like those.

Giants rating in Friendliness to Tourists for the IC Deutsche Bahn (train):

Giants rating of train:

Picture included to highlight that the traded out train cars were not the very restricted, non-refundable, discounted 1st class accommodations. Plan ahead and save is the Giant way. With that level of planning 1st should still be 1st. For those that might now think, “why didn’t the Giants simply find seating in 2nd class rather than waking the sleepers?” The search for seats was in all three classes of the train.

Many German travelers seemed so accepting of the change, taking it all in stride, that the Giants worry that that today’s adventure will have a sequel or two.

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