STRANDED (again) IN POTSDAM
Sometimes when you hear that little voice saying "no, don't do it" I should probably listen. What seemed like a normal day trip from Berlin turned into a disaster for everyone. People were stranded and couldn't get home and some barricaded in the train stations nervous that they'll be there all night and with no food.
Oh Lawd... what happened?
4 days in Berlin, I decided to purchase a couple of day trip tours to neighboring cities. Checking the forecast for the rest of my trip, I realized it didn't matter if I went today or the next because it was set to rain my entire time in Berlin. Debating if I should sit the worst weather day out or not, I decided to push through and get it over with. No point in pushing them back since the weather is bad everyday. Luckily, despite the rain, I wasn't the only one crazy enough to do the tour. In fact, several tour groups were gathered. Though mines was outside the city limits in another state it didn't stop our small group. I even bought an umbrella in hopes to help keep me dry enough to get through the tour. Anywho, the weather was a bit tough in the beginning with the rain and wind, but it lightened up a bit. The sun even started shining. Little did we know, this was the calm before the storm. Just as the tour was coming to an end, the temperature dropped even more and the sky began to darken. The rain picked up again as the wind begin to blow feverishly. At that point we were all ready to go and rushing to get to the bus stop to get back to the train station. All around us the leaves and debris filled the air as big tree branches fell all around us to the point we began to run.
Finally, we made it to the bus and then to the station where we tried to find the best route home. As we went from train to train they continued to delay and cancel the rides. Before we knew it, no trains were leaving the station. So we all decided to sit on the only train in the station that had the highest chance of getting us at least into the intercity area. One hour turned into two and before you knew it we were waiting on the train for over 5 hours! By this time people were drunk with 6 packs of beer in one hand a huge bag of groceries in the other. At least their priorities were in order for survival. In search of an explanation, I found a news article that stated a huge storm hit northern Germany with hurricane winds with a high of 120 km/hr. This storm left 2 people dead, multiple fallen trees that damaged train lines and Berlin calling in a State of Emergency. All public transportation throughout northern Germany had ceased with no intention of running again. This article is how we found out sitting on the train was useless. There was No way out of Potsdam unless we had a ride and all the taxis were either not running or backed up. There were thousands of people stranded in Potsdam alone waiting to get to Berlin. Who knows how many are in Berlin trying to get home.
Just as we all wrapped our heads around being here overnight and we begin to find comfy positions to fall asleep in, our guide gathered us to share the news of the taxi arrival. We were finally able to get a taxi around 9:30pm that night thanks to our guide and the My Taxi app. The guide paid for the taxi to take us to the main central station where we then could take an underground train or central bus to our homes. I finally arrived back to the hostel around 11pm that night thankful I wasn't one of the ones still waiting to find a way home. This was definitely one of those days I wished I'd stayed in.
Taking the day off from public transportation, XOXO