My usual way of getting around within a European country has been via rail. It may be a little slow, but it’s sociable and almost always, even in 2nd class, comfortable. This week, a company called Tchibo is having a sale on special “Tchibo tickets” which is two one-way tickets for train travel within Germany, on any type of train, on any day except Fridays between January and March 2008, for just 58 euros. I went to the Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) site to check on costs (and travel time) to several of the destinations I’m thinking of, and confirmed the Tchibo tickets are a great deal.
But I also noticed that the Deutsche Bahn also had a proud notice in the upper right hand corner of its home page: “No strikes, at least not until the end of January!” Boy, isn’t that a great recommendation for taking the train in February! What business in their right mind would advertise their proclivity to shutting their whole enterprise down? This must be modern Germany’s new way of doing business: buy it today, because tomorrow we ain’t workin’ if we don’ wanna.
Peter thought I should just rent a car (the cheap domestic rental is a Mercedes) and go racing down the Autobahn at 130 miles an hour instead. I could see Berlin and Dresden in the same day, and pop in for tea in Chemnitz in between! Personally, I’m dubious, because I think the drivers on the Autobahn are insane, but maybe they’re that way because the railways are always on strike .
It turned out the Tchibo tickets can only be sent to an address within Germany anyway. So we’ll see how I decide to get about.