The Cruise Passengers, Bad Doberan – 10 July 2010
We had taken a ride on the Molli, the narrow-gauge railway from Bad Doberan to Bad Külungsborn, and it turned out to be a celebration day. In Bad Külungsborn we met some cruise ship passengers with an interest in trains and when we got back to Bad Doberan we met some more.
They were running along the platform towards the steam engine, or at least the men were; the women were saying: ‘Where are you going?’ and one waggish cruiser, wearing a straw hat, replied to his wife that he was: ‘Going to give the driver a kiss. Where do you think I’m going?’ and then followed-up this extraordinarily rude retort with: ‘Ask a silly question . . .!’ What an arsehole! I’m glad we don’t go on Baltic cruises and have to sit next to him for dinner. I wonder what his job is, or was.
Quite difficult to get a meaningful pic, with all these Brits rushing away from one’s lens.
Other British railway enthusiasts made their way onto the platform of the Rostock to Wismar trains, where we were standing, in order to get a better shot of the steam engine puffing to its sidings. At this point we were not absolutely sure that they were from a British-origin cruise ship, we only suspected it, so I sparked up a conversation in English: ‘Got some good pictures?’.
Horrors! Suspicion! A person in Germany speaking to them. They shrunk away in surprise at this approach, but one fat fellow in a pink striped shirt got a bit stuck and unable to escape.
‘I’ve taken some videos, at the end of the line and here!’, he announced proudly.
‘Have you? I did that too, but I haven’t checked whether they worked yet.’
‘I have, and they’re looking good, I’ve checked them already.’ He probably knows his camera better than I do mine. I got the impression he would be showing his fellow cruisers the little digital screen that very evening and was relishing the prospect.
With further probing we learn that the trainspotting Brits are on the same Fred Olson Baltic cruise as the lady denied a herring. A coach left Warnemünde at 12 o’clock to bring them to Külungsborn, where they got on the Molli steam train – after a bit of videoing presumably – and the same coach was now at Bad Doberan waiting to take them back to the ship.
We said we’d met some people from that cruise earlier, who had come over by taxi. I said that I’d told them how to get back by train but was not sure whether they had followed my advice.
With an air of great authority, the pink-shirted fat man announced: ‘There’s a train every ten minutes from Warnemünde to Rostock. One every ten minutes.’ The way he will have known this, without a doubt, was that he walked to the station in Warnemünde, which is right alongside the cruise ship terminal, and looked at the departure board. He was clearly very impressed by the frequency of the service, and I’m sure he would have looked at and probably photographed the trains, but he presumably didn’t feel adventurous enough to get on one, opting for the safe coach instead.
We walked asking questions with the man towards his bus; a Fred Olson guide woman said to us: ‘Are you the last two?’ ‘We’, I replied, ‘Are the last two people on earth, aber wir sind nicht bei diese Rundfahrt.’
Whether the young woman did not speak German, or did but thought my German just too terrible for comment, I don’t know but she didn’t respond, she just marched back to the coach.
That evening, as their cruise ship pulls out of Warnemünde harbour on its way to Copenhagen, will the rail-enthused Brits be showing each other pics of the day’s adventures on the digital displays of their cameras? We have an idea they almost certainly might be.
With all this excitement we didn’t see our train for Wismar pull in and had to run for it, or in fact didn’t have to, for it waits for three minutes for everyone to get off and have a smoke, but thought we did, so we ran, and got to it all flustered and sweaty. That’s the trouble with this independent travel, you do get a bit flustered and sweaty now and again. Not like on the cruise ship.