I blog when I go abroad, and occasionally when I do stuff in the UK too. There's a nicer interface over here.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

How do I love Three, let me count the ways

Yeah, thanks Three. Your wonderful - I mean that - EU internet pass isn't always quite so wonderful, is it? My 24 hours ran out just as I posted the day one entry, conveniently timed enough that I couldn't even tell if it had worked. Still, all I had to do was buy a new one. So I did... and got no internet access. Tried for ages, turned everything off and on again, phoned Three and only got automated nothingness including "if this doesn't work, call back later"... so, meh, I went to sleep.

Up at 5am, I saw the beautiful view of Hamburg in the early morning sunshine as we pulled into the Hbf at about 0530. Problem is, we should have been there about 0330. Um... Lester woke up and I told him my fears (the offline european rail timetables really are handy for checking our progress in mysterious places). Eventually we learnt that, yes, we were running 2 hours late, and were now due in to Copenhagen around 1315.

This was disconcerting on 2 levels. First, we expected to arrive at 1007, making 1315 3 hours late. Second, and somewhat more of a worry, our Copenhagen to Gothenburg train was due to leave at 1332. Fuck.

The whole morning was thus spent fretting, There was also eating and drinking, but mostly just fretting. We kept stopping. Sometimes we went backwards. There were tales of floods and suicides. We KEPT stopping. And all along, no fucking data connection (I would attempt to visit a site and get "hey, your pass expired; click to buy a new one". Clicking took me to a page which said "hey, you already have a pass; use it, why not visit facebook?". Visiting facebook took me back to the expired pass page. I phoned Three, 8 times, only once getting through to someone, who passed me on to someone else, who put me on hold... and the phone signal went. Data didn't work all day. Fuckers.)

If we didn't make the train to Copenhagen, we were screwed. Properly. At the end of the night, in Oslo, we were all set to meet the remaining two members of our troupe. There's simply no alternative transport to get us there in time: the 4hrs to Gothenburg, 4hrs to Oslo was imperative. After hitting Roskilde with an hour to go I called it good, and relaxed. Then we stopped. Again. Come on driver, come on...

13 minutes to spare. Never any doubt, was there? *cough*

We piled into the nearest carriage of the train when it pulled in, pretty much taking over the quiet carriage apart from the precocious non-Danish Danish girl from Poland who spoke 5 languages and whom we nearly killed with her own suitcase. Oops. We were only trying to help! Not our fault her suitcase fell off the rack when the train leant over...

The quiet carriage wasn't quiet, and we were not making friends. One guy picked on our leader, taking him to task for daring to speak at all in this sacred place. This even though he wasn't even sitting in here, but just passing through.

Some of us got booted out by folk with reservations. I think only 3 of us managed to remain where we were for the duration. It was a seriously crowded service, but nonethless we found space to picnic and, of course, toast our 5th and 6th border crossing (in 30 hours). More jenever!

Started to get communication from back home. Murray was a set up. Wow. And Froome retained yellow, as he surely will for the rest of the Tour.

Sleep. And chocolate. No more alcohol. Surprisingly little today, so far, in fact. With no time in Kobenhavn we were short on a lot of stuff and had to implore our Norse joiners to stock up on supplies for us. We already know there are some stinky fish bits on their way...

Sweden and the Swedes are relentlessly pretty. It's really quite disconcerting.

Disappointed to learn the proper pronunciation of BĂ„stad isn't what we'd hoped for.

It's 7pm as I type this. There's loads of the day left, but I'm snarfing data while I can. Norwegian trains pull through where my own fucking phone provider do not. But, fucking hell, Murray is Wimbledon champion! Amazing news to greet our departure from Gothenburg, where we only spent 40 minutes. Getting a bit of a thirst on now. In fact our captain just tried to toast a new border crossing, but I had to put him straight: we've an hour left of Sweden yet, and we must visit Ed first.

1 comment:

Owen said...

It would be the German leg that saw the first late train nearly messing up the timings.

You wouldn't get that in the land of British Rail