We have arrived in Eindhoven (from Dusseldorf via Duisburg and Utrecht). The trains were nice, although it was difficult to make our three transfers (one while still in Dusseldorf) with 7 bags weighing over 200 pounds. 😛
We ended up missing the IC (“Intercity”) from Utrecht to Eindhoven that we were originally planning on. We hurried off towards the track we had in our information, but found that these tracks were closed for construction. Then, our transfer was complicated by the fact that the “big board” showing the trains did not include the train number (e.g. flight number), but only showed the city that the train was ending at. None said “Eindhoven”. By the time we found the right track and train, the train was just pulling away! Thankfully though, there were many trains on this route and the next one came just 20 minutes later on the same track.
On that train, we sat in a compartment area (near the exit door – due to all of our luggage) with a lady originally from Bulgaria. She married a guy from India and they decided to move to the Netherlands, since it was a place with minimal discrimination. She had excellent English but was hesitant to admit why: she is an English teacher here. 🙂
In Eindhoven, we found our way by foot to our hotel (Budgethotel de Zwaan, Booking.com), checked in (forking over €648 in cash for the room!), ran into Andrew (a member of the Austin Villa simulation team), and then found one of the few restaurants open in Sunday: a sushi place. We passed on the “all you can eat sushi” for €20 and ordered ala carte. It ended up being no different from visiting a restaurant in the US – besides not leaving a tip (not customary to do so here) and sodas were served as just one, small bottle (no refills).
Off to the venue to check the set-up to make sure it complies with the rules.
ICE (InterCity Express) #226 from Duisburg to Utrecht. We had seat reservations in car 25, seats 51 and 53 (next to each other). Max speed was a disappointing 97 mph, average of 65 mph (including stops).
Katie transporting two backpacks and two robot suitcases through the streets of Eindhoven.
The very narrow and steep steps in Budgethotel de Zwaan building 2. The shower and toilet rooms were on the first floor, while our room was on the second floor.