MISADVENTURE: a fortune or mishap
ADVENTURE: an exciting or remarkable experience; the encountering of risks
When we left the house, we had no idea that we’d end up in the completely opposite direction of any and all of our plans for the day. As you can see from the map above, we planned to head to a city south of Stuttgart and ended up going east to a completely different area. Even our plan B derailed and took us in a completely opposite direction from what we intended. Well, one man’s mishap is another man’s opportunity.
It was set to be a sunny, warm day — relative to what it has been — in the upper 60s. And we planned to go explore one of the accessible trails that we found out about in a guidebook for accessible hiking in our state. We headed to the train station, excited to be exploring, and we were stopped in our tracks before we even started, as the elevator to our platform was broken. That means we can’t take any of the trains going in that direction until the elevator is fixed during the week, since it was a Saturday. So, some quick thinking later, and I decided that we’d take the train going in the opposite direction, which we can access without an elevator, get off at the next stop, switch to the opposite platform, and we’d be set!
Unfortunately, I forgot that we might not be able to get off at the next stop. You see, there are two trains that go through our town, there’s the S2 and the S3. They diverge after the next stop, so they end up at different platforms to head out to different directions, even though they both still end up at that station as their last shared stop. However, the one train goes to a platform that is too low for us to get off without a ramp, and I forgot about that, and we had ended up on the train where we’d need a ramp to get off. I opened the door and said, “Nope. Guess we’re not getting off here!”
Every train has a ramp for accessibility. The first train car, at the very first entrance, has the ramp, and the driver has to set out. This is great for people like us! That is, if you’re near there. We were actually in the first car, but we were way too far back to make it to the front before the train left, and I wasn’t actually sure at the time that we were even in the first car. So I decided that we would get off at the next stop. Well, not technically the next stop. At the next stop, the train was also too high, and I was despairing off where we’d end up before we could get off if we weren’t in the first car with the ramp. So at the actual next stop, I poked my head out and saw that indeed we were in the first car. All we had to do then was have Michael drive to the front of the car to be ready to get off when we stopped again. So, finally, we got off, thanking the driver for unexpectedly needing to get the ramp out, and we went to switch to the other platform. Or so we thought.
Yet again, the unexpected cropped up and prevented us from going anywhere. The tiny stop that we managed to get off at is called Stetten-Beinstein, and there are stairs that go underneath the tracks and up the other side, but no elevator. We had to wait a half an hour for the next train to keep taking us in the direction that we did not even want to be going.
At this point, when the train came again it was going to be past 1 o’clock, and from our hometown it was going to have taken us almost an hour to get to our destination. When the next train came, and we asked the conductor to get out the ramp, I asked if he knew what next station had an elevator, and he had no idea. He suggested we go to the end of the line where there was a bigger station. Poor me was dying inside and Michael was like, “Well! We’re sure having an adventure!” So funny.
As we traveled and looked out the window at the stations to see which one we could actually use, I had to think long and hard about changing our plans to make the most of the time we’d already spent and the amount of time it would take to travel back in the opposite direction. As I executively decided that we’d find something to do in the city at the end of the line, the doors closed at the stop we were at, and Michael said, “Hey! There was an elevator at that one!” Irony.
Schorndorf was the city at the end of the line. It wasn’t so far, really, if we hadn’t put an unintentional half-hour pit stop in there. It’s only a 20-minute ride from our town to Schorndorf. Boy, was the countryside beautiful getting there though! I had absolutely no idea what was in the city or what there was to do or if we could find any trails close by, but, in any case, we had to find a bathroom. We found one in a nice local brewery-restaurant because the local grocery store handed me a piece of paper with a small map and list of local bathrooms and accessible bathrooms open to the public. How handy! And since we’re from Wisconsin, a land of micro-breweries, we decided to stay to taste the brew, have a coffee, and mull over our options.
It was a beautiful space!
And I guess we got a meal too. This is called Maultaschen, and it’s a traditional dish in Schwabenland, which is the part of Germany where we live. It’s pasta wrapped around seasoned ground pork, and it was so good.
I scoured the internet while we ate and sipped, and I found a fun path to take us to the forest, about 5.4 km away. It was a nice biking trail, so I counted on it being without stairs, and we were up for the long walk to get out into nature as we’d originally intended.
To be continued …
Stay tuned for Part 2!
With love from Deutschland,