So I want to go to the 4th Language Creation Conference (aka LCC4), right? And I already bought a train ticket.
This evening, I thought I’d ask in a newsgroup about German rail transport what the procedures would be if I missed a connection on the way back, since I’d be taking the last train of the day from Bremen to Hamburg.
So I look up the connection again to confirm it—and it’s no longer there!
That had happened to me before, when reconfirming the train trip to Denmark, so I tried fiddling with via points to get it to spit out the original connection, but stil no dice.
When I checked for earlier connections, I saw why: apparently, on the day I’m returning, the Groningen–Leer train only runs as far as Nieuweschans, and you have to take a bus from there (rail replacement service). And presumably the last train of the day doesn’t have a bus, or the bus won’t let me make the connection in Leer I need to get to Bremen on time to catch the last train to Hamburg, or something. Anyway, nuts.
Still, I’m glad I found out about this before I stand at Groningen station and wonder what’s going on. And I’m also glad that, while researching connections earlier, I happened onto a bus service that just happens to go between Groningen and Bremen.
So now I’m wondering what to do. My current idea is to get a refund for the Hamburg–Groningen v.v. train tickets (but not the seat reservations: they’re not refundable in the first place, and anyway, I can still use the seat reservation for the return journey) and buy new train tickets Hamburg–Bremen v.v. plus new bus tickets Bremen–Groningen v.v. Alternatively, see whether it’s possible to get a refund for just the return journey, and go there by train and back by train+bus. But bus both ways probably makes a bit more sense (and even means less changing: only once instead of twice). The price is roughly the same.
Stella had also suggested I investigate going by car, as I’d be more flexible. But that would probably be more expensive, even with the weekend special our standard car hire company has; plus I’m not sure whether I want to drive three hours late in the evening after a long day if I can help it.