It was in the middle of the day at Hamburg Central Station on 25 October 2022. 27-year-old Isaac Appelquist Løge and 29-year-old Jens Kristian Jørsboe had just arrived at the busy train station on a train from Copenhagen. The platform was full of travellers due to many cancelled departures. It was announced over the speakers that Deutsche Bahn was experiencing “störung”, which means disruption in German, but which, in this context, can best be described as track work.
The two PhD students from DTU had to catch a connecting train to Karlsruhe and had calculated a half-hour changeover time in Hamburg. They laughed at this in the ticket office, where the two colleagues had gone to seek information. The train station worker behind the counter thought that a half-hour changeover time between trains was way too little—in Germany.
Isaac and Jens, who both conduct research in sustainable technologies, were on their way to an international climate conference in Lyon, France. From home, they had planned overnight accommodation and dinner in Strasbourg, France—and then on to Lyon the next day. That was plan A.
However, due to the track work, their arrival in Strasbourg would be delayed by two hours. This was not a big problem, because, with plan B, Isaac and Jens would still be able to go to a restaurant and see a bit of the beautiful medieval city. Or so they thought.