“Noch eine Reise mit der Deutschen Bahn”
Between September 28 and October 11 (2011), I’ll be in Germany once again to catch up with a few friends, drink some beer, stuff my face with döner and bratwurst, and make some brand new photos.
After living in Germany for two years and leaving in 2003, I’ve since returned to the country one to two times each year. I’ve always used rail passes to travel within the country, and it can be much cheaper to buy passes before traveling and outside of Germany, than to purchase point-to-point fares inside the country.
Fortunately, obtaining rail passes has always been convenient with Rail Europe. In just about all cases, I know my travel dates, and on what days I need to get from one city to the next. For this trip, I took advantage of their “buy-4-get-5” promotion, and I promptly purchased a 5-day Germany pass. Recently, I learned about German Rail Pass which provides information about and ordering passes for rail travel within Germany.
In addition to cost savings, there are two other advantages to a rail pass: (1) you don’t have to wait in line (queue up) to buy your ticket from a counter or from a ticket-machine, and (2) you’re not tied to specific train schedules. On my iPod, I’ve been using the free DB Navigator app to get quick information about trains and departure times.
With the departures board (above), you can look up and imagine where you’d like to go next. Most of the departures boards are now electronic displays, but as a regular Bahn user since 2002, I miss the “clickety-clack” sounds as older mechanical displays were being updated.
I love train stations – the hustle and bustle, the sounds of arriving trains, the loudspeakers announcing which trains are leaving and the platforms from which trains depart. What I like to do is head to one of the many Stehcafés (standing-only) in a station, order a coffee and pastry, stand back and watch people pass by on their daily rush. It’s a lot more fun when you’re not in a rush to catch a train.
Also, I find it convenient to stop in a magazine-/bookstore and check out their selection of English language books. I don’t see a large supply in Chile, and my visits to English-speaking countries are less frequent. While I can read some German, sometimes I just want to sink my teeth into a book where I don’t have to turn on my “internal translator.”
On my upcoming 14-day trip, I’m crossing the country in my ‘usual’ manic fashion with stops at the following stations:
- Berlin Central Station – Berlin Hauptbahnhof
- Cologne Central Station – Köln Hauptbahnhof
- Frankfurt Airport Station – Frankfurt(M) Flughafen Fernbahnhof
- Frankfurt am Main Central Station – Frankfurt(M) Hauptbahnhof
- Hamburg Central Station – Hamburg Hauptbahnhof
- Munich Central Station – München Hauptbahnhof
This website (in English and German) highlights all of the major train stations throughout the country. Each station is listed with services, and there are also station maps to download in PDF format.
I also love route maps. A separate Deutsche Bahn website provides PDF maps for IC/EC/ICE (InterCity, EuroCity, InterCity Express) routes, as well as regional routes within the various German states; the route information is available only in German.
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This post was published originally on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-ln.