Well my friend did make it to meet me. Albeit with some interesting hurdles that needed to be crossed and train traffic riddles that needed to be solved.
As most of you know Europe (and with it the Netherlands) have been suffering under a mountain of snow. As said all transport crashed with it. I had planned on taking the car but the roads were so treacherous that I decided on public transport. N came by public transport. We both knew that we’d possibly be suffering diversions, delays and trains simply not showing up. So we were vigilantly watching any changes in our schedule. N decided to leave home an hour earlier than planned. She sent me a SMS when she had arrived and left Amsterdam and was on her way to Den Haag Holland Spoor (HS). She discovered quickly that this train was actually heading for Central Station (CS)
So I left for CS, where we would meet. I missed my direct train to CS but lo and behold the train to Amsterdam was going to be diverted to Den Haag CS. How convenient! It said so on the platform in Delft and at HS. Lovely. However at HS the conductor announced the train was going to Amsterdam. So I jumped out to either take the tram to CS or wait for the next train to CS, which btw is the next station and not that far out. Then I overheard the traindriver telling the conductor that no we were going to CS after all. So I jumped back on the train. Then the conductor and driver continued to argue, get into contact with their dispatch centres that kept telling them opposing things and about 15 minutes later we did go to CS. Before the station of course we had to wait as all platforms were full.
While we were happily waiting there my phone rang. N? Had she arrived as CS yet? Well almost, but not Den Haag CS, but Rotterdam CS! Pardon? Well she had only realised when she passed Delft that this train was not going to Den Haag CS. When the train had stopped in HS she had checked and thought about getting off, but as the sign said CS she stayed. Both Rotterdam CS and DenHaag CS be the next station after HS. And with my example of trainstaff not really being sure which way to go either we just decided we’d fallen victim to the snow idiocy. So at Rotterdam CS she took the train back to Den Haag CS where I was waiting for her at the giant red Christmas tree. She arrived at midday. In the end it had taken her 4 hours over a trip that usually gets done in just under 2.
As by that stage we were a tad cold we walked to the city and stopped at the first decent looking cafe that served decent warm food and hot chocolate. There we giggled like two schoolgirls and warmed up and chatted. We had an appointment at Aveda that day so we headed there after lunch and got treated to a lovely pampering time. The pampering time was why N had persisted and had kept going against the odds of ever getting there.
Then there was the shopping at ART and with it the attack on our budget. N’s husband had asked if she would be buying clothes. Well considering she was going into town with me that was a tad or a rhetorical question now wasn’t it?
After an early dinner, we headed back to the station. From her SMS I understand that the trip back (though with 3 or 4 change overs) was less difficult as it only took 3 hours.
When I arrived back in Delft I was thinking that the city of Den Haag should have taken an example of how we do it here. I could walk safely over most roads and sidewalks, never too slippery. In Den Haag we managed to remain standing but with great difficulty as the whole inner city closely resembled a skating rink. It did have its advantages though, it was great shopping as very few dared to venture into town .