Following tramway @ Augsburg

After dumping our luggage in our room, we left the hotel to explore Augsburg. ‘How are we gonna get to the city centre?’ By taxi? By bus? We hadn’t seen any of them so far. It would have been mightily handy if we could hail a London black cab right now, we lamented…

Then, we saw tramway tracks on Frauentor straße. ‘Mum, there are trams!’

And here it came…

 

Maybe we can go to the city centre by tram!

We saw a tram stop ahead and passengers getting on. How can we get on it like them? Where can we buy tickets? Apart from a shelter and a map of the tram system, there was no ticketing machine…

And there was nobody around to answer our questions.

We learnt by then that most of  the middle-aged Germans we met on the road weren’t keen on speaking English unless they were working in tourist-friendly environments such as hotels or souvenir shops. On the contrary, most of the young Germans (like 20s to 30s), they spoke fluently and was very helpful. ‘Let’s ask her!’ We spotted a young German woman, who looked like a university student, walking towards us.

”Sprechen sie Englisch, bitte?’

She answered yes and told us where to find a ticketing machine. ‘There is a machine on Karolinenstraße.’ Oh, danke!

Even though I was worried about mum’s knee, there was no option except going on foot. We saw the trams going by but could not get on. How frustrating!

Then, we found it. Yay!

We bought a carnet of eleven tickets. Even though we wouldn’t need that many tickets but it would save us from the hassle of having to buy a ticket for each journey, I thought.

Then, we continued on Karolinenstraße and arrived at Rathausplatz…

The square which spread in front of the town hall was vast.

One thing really struck me was, the place was devoid of streetscape paraphernalia, such as raised pedestrian walkways, road markings, street plantation and street lamps which I would normally expect at any similar place in the U.K.

Even the trams, they had no platform to arrive to except a simple signpost. And their tracks were seamlessly embedded into the road surface…

People seemed to be not too concerned about coming and going of the trams…

 

 

Pedestrians, cyclists, cars and trams all existed in harmony…

Why can our London do the same? Let’s have a tram system in Central London too and breathe cleaner air!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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