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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

September 21, 2008

Try this for getting to church services!

Filed under UCG-Germany

I booked my train ticket for yesterday’s overnight trip to Biel, Switzerland on July 10th and thought I had planned pretty far in advance. All that for nothing because of a demonstration in Cologne!

I got to the Siegburg train station at 7:00 a.m. for my 7:11 a.m. train to Switzerland, parked my car and bought myself a sandwich to eat in the train. Then I heard the announcement as I waited for the train to arrive: the tracks between Cologne and Siegburg were closed indefinitely because someone had set fire to the track switching unit in Cologne-Porz. Apparently the culprits were part of the leftist scene who came to Cologne to protest against a right-wing demonstration against the perceived "Islamization" of Germany, with the planned mosque in Cologne being the symbol of their protest. No one at the station seemed to know when train service would be restored, and they told us all trains from Cologne were being rerouted through Bonn.

At that point I should have driven to the Frankfurt airport to catch a train south on the major north-south line unaffected by the incidents in Cologne. However, I drove across the Rhine to Bonn and went to station only to hear that no one could say for sure that any trains would be leaving the Cologne main station because of a demonstration there. Since I was already on the other side of the Rhine, I got in my car and drove to Karlsruhe, a two and a half hour drive. There I parked my car in the train station parking garage, and with one minute to spare I caught a train to Switzerland (the train doors closed right after I got on the train). Instead of arriving two hours before the service – my original schedule – I arrived in Biel at 2:10 p.m., ten minutes after the service was supposed to start. With some help from Pierre and Philippe Adcock for my luggage (they met me at the station) I walked ten minutes to the service hall and we started 30 minutes late.

Today I took the train back to Karlsruhe, picked up my car and drove the 2.5 hours home. Quite a roundabout way to get to a church service and back home! :-)

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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