Today, we had to say goodbye to Amsterdam, and hello to Berlin, which we did via a six hour train ride. Of course, there’s always a flight you can catch. It cost 39 euros the take the train, and you need to be at the train station, about 10 minutes before your train departs. Or there’s a flight, the only direct I noticed was with KLM, and costs 10x as much, and once you factor in the train to the airport (half an hour), getting to the airport on time (2 hours), the flight itself (1.5 hours), and a bus ride in Berlin (half an hour), there’s only an hour and a half difference between the two options.
We arrived at the station pretty early. Considering our hotel was a 3 minute walk away, this wasn’t a bother. Useful travel tips – buy your bags when you’re getting groceries since they don’t really give you bags at the end, making it super awkward to carry so much food around a train station without a bag.
Here’s a tip – even though there’s barriers at Amsterdam Station, you can walk through them without getting stopped. So if you have paper tickets, or just want to shop inside the station, don’t feel compelled to have a ticket. Unlike in say, Japan or the London Underground.
Truth be told, I really enjoy train travelling. It’s a great way to see the countryside. I noticed that the Netherlands was really flat, really clean, no graffiti around, and very quiet. As soon as we crossed over into Germany, there was much more people, they were much more loud, there was much more graffiti. I wonder if German people view the dutch as their quiet simple cousins? That’s kinda how it feels, and that’s probably why I like the Netherlands so much.
We passed a few more windmills and the like, and pulled into Berlin station. We then needed to catch the S-Bahn to Tiergarten, where our hotel is. The ticket machine didn’t appear to be working, and then a woman came up to us selling used tickets, which were still valid for an hour. They were originally worth 2.60 euro, and she wanted 1 euro for them, which I thought was cheap. Kathryn said we were being scammed. Turns out it was OK, though frowned upon by the rail operators, who have big signs warning against this. Won’t do that again!