Day 2b – 3a: Amsterdam to Copenhagen
Amsterdam Centraal Station. The relevant board says the 1901 City Night Line sleeper CNL40457 leaves from this platform, but appears to be going only to Prahn. These two Germans explain that sometime during the night, the train will divide – one part to Prahn, one to Berlin, and one to Copenhagen. One of them is a deadringer for the Girl-With-A-Dragon-Tattoo. They offer me a “goouummy”.
The train attendant explains that although there are six-beds in my compartment, a maximum of 4 will be used at a time. My bed is on the top and must be accessed using the ladder from under one of the bottom bunks. i make my bed with the bedsheet provided, and toss on the pillow and blanket. There is ventilation, temperature control, the option of florescent or dimmed lighting, curtains, and a lock for the door. There is a also friendly atmosphere and time is easily spent bantering with the two English boys in the next compartment. The train attendant offers to get my mobile charged in one of the washrooms and locks it in for safety.
At Emmerich, just on the German side of the Netherlands-German border, serious German policemen board the train. They open every loo door and finding one of the washrooms locked, unlock it with their keys. I hurry down the corridor, only to have a torch shone in my face:
“Is this your phone?”
“Why have you locked it in the washroom?”
Two compartments down from me, i hear them ask someone for his passport. He and his baggage are taken off the train. The English boys stand on the platform watching and banter about the reasons for this.
Two guys join me in the compartment in Germany. One is Danish but lives in the United States. The other is a German who works in Copenhagen.
“Why do you have an American accent?” I ask the first.
“Why do you have an English accent?” he counters.
The German speaks of Danish politics and how he dislikes a politician who is trying to keep “foreigners” out.
Along the corridor, we hear rumours that this is the last CityNightLine sleeper from Amsterdam to Copenhagen. All around Europe, the tracks are falling silent at night.
*Earworm for the journey: Stuart Townend’s Singing Hallelujah from his The Paths of Grace album.