Check. Check. Check. Checking off the check list as we board the wrong train from Brussels to Amsterdam.

Bags packed.  Check.
Checked out of hotel.  Check. 
Double and triple checked departure times for upcoming trip from Brussels to Amsterdam.  Check. 
Arrived at station way ahead of schedule.  A first! 
Scoped and scouted out shops for last minute trinkets and souvenirs.  Ka-Ching!  Schlepped cumbersome luggage up and down hundreds of stairs for what felt like hours on end.  Hallelujah – didn’t break my back!
Purchased boarding pass.  Check.
Boarded train fifteen minutes ahead of departure time.  Double check!
Raced like a bat out of hell to score window seat.  Victory!
Shoved and stowed trunks and baggage on the near-empty rack above my seat.  Check!  

Could I have any better luck?  Just wait.
All settled in.  Nap time.
Aaahhh…  Breathe easy moment.
And, can I order that vino?  Or two?
Whoa!  Not so quick.  
Yikes!!  I’m on the wrong train.

“Again?  Like, seriously?”

Lined up and all ready to go!!

Did we miss the train or are we early?

All aboard!
And just like that, the carriage doors slammed shut.
A near empty caboose barrelling towards destinations unknown on the track to somewhere or perhaps nowhere and now we’re trapped!
Nothing like a dash of panic peppered with bucket-loads of disbelief to kick-start one’s day.
After all, why experience a run of the mill, oh so boring mundane journey when you could instead be an active participant in a comedy of errors of the slapstick inspired kind.
Isn’t that what traversing the globe is all about?

Press the button!  Press the button!  We’re on the wrong train!”

Too late!
Should we pull the Emergency Stop?
Luggage tumbling, feet a stumbling, arms a flailing, expletives a hurling - no need to further explain – you get the picture or not.

“We’re hopping off at the next stop!”

Flashback a minute or two or three or four.
So, exactly, how does one board the wrong train?
After all, we’re on the right track!
Track number #05, to be exact!
And look, we’re fifteen minutes early!
And, we’re certainly not tardy.
What luck!
So on we scramble.
But consequently neglect to clue in that our train has not yet pulled into station and is scheduled to arrive at designated track in the next five minutes flat…at 11:45am to be exact.
Departure is at 11:50am sharp!
So that means…
So, which train did we board?
Looks like the caboose that was scheduled to depart at 11:40am instead.
There’s so much to be said about missing the boat - or was that train?

Tunnelling towards destinations unknown.

The journey continues. 

Checking off the check list.  Or not!

Disembark at what appears to be abandoned station.Now what? WHERE are we?

Next blog post – In three weeks!  Wednesday, May 25th!!  Stay tuned!!

And while I’m at it, might as well confess that I inadvertently jumped ahead a city or two and scribbled about our misadventures leaving Brussels, as opposed to arriving in Bruxelles. 

Yikes!  So much for that check list.

Come ride the rails with the clue-less Duo – that of course would be cuckoo ol’ Auntie Nora and sidekick Oz – as we discover the efficiencies of European rail travel.  A second too late and you’re out of luck as your train has already barrelled ahead.  But, if a few minutes early, board at your own risk and always check those handy, dandy timetables that detail exactly when your Choo Choo is about to depart.  Too early and you’re on the wrong train, too late and you’re on another caboose to destinations unknown.  Either way, nothing short of a memorable journey!

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