Just because the destination and train number are wrong doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get on …

On Tuesday night, we headed to the train station in Florence to take the overnight train to Germany. We arrived a while before the train was due to arrive, so we sat on a platform bench and waited. About 20 minutes before our train was due to arrive, we looked to see if the platform number had been posted. It wasn’t – the only train leaving at 21:52 was a train to “Wien”. Of course, by this point information was already closed for the evening, so there wasn’t anyone around we could ask. We finally went up to one of the police officers, pointed at our ticket, and asked if it was the same as Wien. He nodded, so we headed over to that platform, slightly freaking out.

There, a group of people was surrounding the conductor asking the same thing as us. Apparently, the last 3 cars would be disconnected somewhere in Austria overnight and head to Munich, while the rest of the train would continue onto Wien. There was no need to make a note of this on the sign though, apparently… typical Italian transportation 🙂

In our overnight compartment, we had an American family – a couple in their 20’s, and (we think it was his) mom and dad. We managed to obtain the top bunks (the very best as they have the most room and aren’t in the way at all) even though we had been assigned to the middle bunks (oh, sure, we wouldn’t mind the top bunks *too* much, that way you can have the bottom and middle together). Since the train didn’t leave till almost 10pm and arrived about 6:30am, we didn’t talk much at all with them, but did learn that the young couple was from Denver. Small world.

In Germany, our train arrived about 30 minutes early. We then went over to the information desk, attempting to obtain some sort of idea as to how to get to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, where we’d decided to spend the day and night.  The man asked when we wanted to leave, and then printed off a schedule that included every stop we would make (down to the minute) and the platforms we would arrive at and where we would need to change trains … typical German transportation  🙂

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