I spent my day yesterday on a train, however it was supposed to be spent in Vienna. I woke up at 6 to catch the 7:40 train after breakfast with my dad, and bought my ticket, then found out that the direct train to Wien Westbahnhof was cancelled. Fab. I decided to go the alternate route and take the Munich train, get off at Rosenheim, switch trains, take the train to Salzburg, once again switch trains, and be on my way to Vienna.
I got off at Rosenheim and learned that the next train to Salzburg wasn’t actually going all the way to Salzburg. So I waited one hour to get on the next Salzburg train. When my hour was up, I saw that the timetable said that this train wasn’t going to Salzburg as well. So I went to the information desk, because quite honestly, I was just puzzled and wanted to know how to get to Vienna before it was dark out. It was about 10 am at this point. I asked the Information Desk man if he spoke English (nein) and then attempted to ask when the next train to Salzburg was… Turns out, all trains were canceled to Salzburg. Again, fab.
I asked him the easiest way to get to Vienna. He laughed in my face. Frustrated, I bought a ticket back home, to Kufstein. I had spent about 100 euros on train tickets at this point, and was so frustrated that I couldn’t even get to Vienna. At 11:17 am, I arrived in Kufstein and asked the Information desk man if it was possible in ANY way to get to Veinna. He directed me to Worgl, where I would be able to catch the next train straight to Wien. The train was leaving at 11:19, and the second I stepped onto the train, we started moving. I was relieved. At least one thing was going right for me!!!
I switched trains at Worgl and was so pleased with my change in luck. … but then, my sudden strike of good luck ended, and the train was delayed… I spent 6 and a half hours on that train, and didn’t arrive until about 6 pm… Turns out, the reason for my delay was that the Syrian Refugees were crowding up the region, trying to make new homes or get to Austria, Germany, or Sweden, which were providing help and support for them.
I didn’t expect to see the refugees first hand, but the second I stepped off the train in Vienna, I was hit with such a poignant scene of families huddled together, trying to fend off the cold, just hundreds of people sitting and waiting for who knows what for who knows how long. It was hard to believe that these people were considered the lucky ones. I didn’t mind the delay anymore. My problems seemed so insignificant to the hardships they had been through and were still enduring.
I found out the next, and last train back to Kufstein was at 7:30, so I rushed into the city and saw as much as I possibly could, which honestly wasn’t much. I saved a lot to come back to. I just got the smallest taste of Wien, which made me so hungry to see everything the city had to offer. I’ll have to go back another time. On the way back, my train was also delayed, also due to the Syrian Refugees, and I ended up missing my connecting train to Kufstein. The next train leaving was at 5:55 am…. I had arrived at 1:35am. So I curled up in my down jacket and scarf in the train station, and decided to spend the night there.
Well, I didn’t really have another choice.
It was a very cold and uncomfortable night to say the least, but all I kept thinking when I wanted to complain was how this was a regular night for some of those families. I got home at around 6:50 am, just 30 minutes shy of traveling for 24 hours. Some may see my time as a day wasted, a day stuck on trains and seeing nothing, but for me, although it was not the most pleasant of days, it was a day full of seeing how interconnected the world was. It was a lesson in compassion and connection, a day very well spent.