Sunday, 23 September 2012


Sigh. I am, admittedly, of somewhat mixed feelings today. As per usual, when I am tippety typing away on my phone, this time on a slightly geriatric German intercity train to Cologne, where I change to another train to Brussels, and yet another for London. I cycled the 4 miles to Berlin Hauptbahbhof in the clear, cool, autumnal light, crisscrossing the line of the wall several times on the way. Not much traffic out on a Sunday morning, pre 930. Getting on the train was slightly stressful. As it turns out, we each have an assigned cycle space. Everyone else had a separate ticket for their bicycle. I had to rip mine in half, as they were both on the same sheet of paper. Conductor didn't like that. Nothing like arguing with a conductor in two different languages. Fortunately, he relented and I found my seat in the slightly tired looking first class section. Hmm, they don't have at-seat food. No wonder it wasn't that expensive! Anyway, we're blowing westward along approximately the same route I cycled. It's a little disheartening to see several days worth of cycling gone in just a few hours! Anyway, last night Frank and I went for dinner at a "traditionally German" restaurant. I had schnitzel, which is, apparently, traditionally Austrian. Whatever, close enough, and it was yummy! ;-)  Frank went out with a friend then and I went to bed, as I knew today was going to be a little rough anyway. The last two days I spent poodling around Berlin on my bike, which I enjoyed immensely. It's such a better cycling city than London, and bikes really are pretty well woven into the fabric of normal life. Actually, that was true the whole way since I left England. I still fail to comprehend why the British, who live in a land of shitty roads and expensive fuel, are so wedded to their cars. Also did a brief whistlestop tour of the German history museum (Dem Deutsche History no Comprendo or something like that ;-) ) and saw my friend Rogger. I can't overemphasise though how much I enjoyed riding around Berlin, as that finally started to give me an actual feel for where things are in geographically real life, as opposed to the weird, slightly directionless underworld of the U-Bahn. So yeah, feeling a little blah today. A whole day of sitting on the train, plus the aggregation of having to disassemble my bike and put it in a bag in Cologne, for the next train. Desperately not looking forward to the week at work, but I am very very much looking forward to my next bike adventure in a week. I think I have become an addict. :-D  Actually, truthfully, Berlin feels like it was the practice run, even though it was longer, as I had no idea what I was doing and overdid it a bit (hence it feeling a bit like a blur in some places). Italy and Switzerland feel a bit more like the real thing. Less distance per day, more time spent in each place. Hopefully this will be the case!

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