Exploring the world's built environments and seeking sustainable solutions.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Solo Transit Journey from Freiburg to Stuttgart, Germany

Log of my travel, observations, and comparisons to group travel

The first step I took was to plan out my trip! I used the Eurail website to research train times and transfers I would need to make. It specifically showed which platforms each train would leave from so I didn’t even have  to check the list at the station.

Freiburg to Stuttgart
8:35- Leave hostel and walk to the train station
            -Of my two options (walk or tram) I chose walking because I wanted the exercise, it wasn’t too far, and because I wasn’t familiar with the tram schedule.

8:54 – Board train
8:57- Train leaves right as scheduled
9:58- Arrive in Karlsruhe to switch trains
            -I found the next platform easily because I had checked the platform number ahead of time on the Eurail website
10:05- Depart Karlsruhe
10:58- Arrive in Stuttgart!
On my walk to the train station:

Walk observations:
-At the early hour, the streets were completely empty.
-I felt uncomfortable while passing a place with numerous homeless people.
-I was much more aware of my surroundings since I was not in a large group, and paid close attention to be sure I was going the right way.
On my train ride to Karlsruhe and then Stuttgart:

Successful arrival and reunion with an old friend

Train observations:
-Signs were incredibly easy to follow.
-Being alone meant staying awake so I wouldn’t miss my stop.
-Announcements were usually only done in German, so I had to pay close attention to intermediate stops.
-I didn’t make seat reservations, so I had to choose seats carefully.
-Moving from train to train was very easy and efficient without luggage and a large group of people.
Stuttgart to Freiburg
4:00- Train departs Stuttgart
            -Since I didn’t know the times ahead of time, I had to consult the board of departure times.
4:53- Train arrives in Karlsruhe
            -Checked the departures board to see what platform to go to for my connection.
5:03- Train departs Karlsruhe (arrives and leaves 3 minutes late)
            -This train was crowded, so I had to sit on the floor for the first half hour since I didn’t have a reservation
5:59- Train arrives in Freiburg
6:45- Return to hostel after making several stops on the way

On my walk back to the hostel:

-The streets were much busier, so I felt a lot safer.

-Train travel is extremely reliable and easy to understand
-Prior research isn’t really necessary, but does make it a little easier
-Seat reservations might be a good idea, especially for long trips
-Walking through town is more comfortable with people around
-Traveling alone is very different than with a large group:
            -Ease in moving quickly
            -Hightented awareness of surroundings and directions

Meredith Plant

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