Friday, January 15, 2016

London to Stuttgart by Train

Departure Hall at London St. Pancras International. I'm taking Eurostar 9126 to Brussels. Departure 10:58 local time.

The weather in the U.K. was cold, but beautiful. Lots of sunshine, making even an East Midlands train on the neighboring track look good.

Green pastures and blue skies on the way to Dover.

A very different sight in Belgium, shortly before Lille, the announced winter storm is moving in.

I really dislike the boarding and arrival procedures for the Eurostar. They try very hard to make the experience resemble boarding an airplane. Primarily due to security concerns there are dedicated tracks and arrival/departure halls separate from other trains. Getting from the Eurostar to the ICE at Brussels involves navigating a maze of hallways, and in the worst case walking the length of the train. Pretty lame, and not helpful if the regular time between connections is only 10 minutes. One would think that getting from track 2 to track 4 should be easily done in 10 minutes. ... I just barely made it, and walked through half of the ICE cars to my assigned seat while the train was already moving.
That said, this is still preferable over the other travel option via Paris, which would have involved  walking from Gare de Nord to Gare de l'Est in a winter storm.

Between Brussels and Aachen, the storm went to full force and the landscape turned white.

No snow down in the Rhine valley upon arrival in Cologne, though. The storm hadn't made it here yet.

Since I was at the front of the ICE, at Frankfurt airport station track 5, I could take a quick photo before it took off again.

Of course, departure track 6 for my next connection is at the other platform. Stairs up, stairs down. No need to hurry, the train is delayed and I could leisurely stroll to the right place on the platform.

Again, I somehow managed to be at the very end of the train when we arrived 10 minutes delayed to light snow fall in Stuttgart. It's good to be home.

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