The Great Christmas Adventure!

Merry Christmas everyone!

I already explained how my big brother and I were in Europe last year. We had a plan for Christmas. The plan was that we would leave Paris on the 8:00pm train to Berlin. When we woke up about twelve hours later, we would be in Berlin and free to roam about as we please on Christmas Day. There would be Christmas Markets and caroling and maybe some exchange of presents.

I’m going to point out right here that we walked into a supermarket before boarding the train. I suggested getting something for the ride. Big Bro said we wouldn’t need anything because we’ll be sleeping the whole time anyway. Even so, I got us a few apples for the journey.

We board the train and find our compartment. This would have been nice if it weren’t for the two toddlers who wouldn’t fall asleep. Their mother didn’t help either. She would tell them to shush and they didn’t listen. Time and time again, they didn’t listen. I stuck in some earplugs and offered another pair to Big Bro. He declined to he could hear the announcements.

At about midnight or so, the train stopped at a station, I fell asleep (sort of), and when I woke up, we were still in the station. While I was sleeping, Big Bro had gone to investigate, and he came back with packets of buttered croissants and things of water. He said the train engine had broken down and we were waiting for one to get here from Berlin, which was an eight hour train ride in one direction. But he met a German actress who could speak English really well, and she helped to translate what was happening to him.

We started moving again at ten in the morning. Big Bro and I found the German actress in another compartment with a couple girls from China. We joined them and spent the entire afternoon talking about this and that. The actress’s biggest complaint was that French trains don’t have food carts. And food was an issue. Only a few people got the buttered croissants my brother got. And we shared the water bottles he nicked. But other than that, we didn’t have much in the line of food. For whatever reason, neither my brother nor I didn’t pull out the apples for us to share. We both probably thought we would need them in Berlin.

Allow me to redirect your attention to the fact that I suggested getting more food in the supermarket in Paris. If I learned anything in Europe, it is to bring at least a few snacks when you travel for instances like these. When the ride includes time for a meal or two, pack for that meal.

Perk: Seeing the German countryside

In any case, the actress translated the announcements for us since Big Bro’s German was super rusty. She explained there would be two transfers for people going to Berlin. We followed her when it came time because she knew what she was doing. It was guaranteed we would get to Berlin following her. And we did. We transferred once, then again. The final cart had a restaurant-style food cart, and Big Bro and I got food. He had delicious meatballs and I had cold cuts. We shared, and man were his meatballs delicious!

The total trip time was approximately twenty-four hours. Apart from guiding us through the Berlin metro, the German actress also showed us where to go to file a complaint. We didn’t do so right there, but we came back a day or two later and spent some time writing a letter. Everything resolved itself in a few months. We were refunded for our troubles and now we have a pretty awesome story to tell.

The Compartment Crew at Berlin (finally)

Merry Christmas!

Comment Question: What’s the best/worst Christmas you’ve ever had?

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