Sunday, 7 October 2012

On the train again, just glad to be out of the rain again...

So, back to my usual location of typing these things... I'm on the 0723 from Bern to Paris, which I caught with at least 90 secs to spare. Unlike British trains, on most of the long distance European ones you have to disassemble your bike and put it in a bag, then cram it in with all the other luggage. I have a special bag for this I bought in Switzerland (of course), but it still means it takes me 20 mins to take the whole thing apart, then out this great big unwieldy thing onto the train and find a space for it. Needless to say, when one arrives at the train station at 0657, one is pushing one's luck ever so slightly. No matter. I have a group of excessively boisterous for this hour German speaking Swiss blathering away behind me, who sound like they have a collective phlegm problem. I'm so tired I just want to curl up on the floor, but, unfortunately, as I am such a princess, the chance of me actually sleeping is zero. Sigh. Anyway, I had a lovely 2 days staying with Kathleen in Bern, a place so excessively cute I'm surprised it's legal. It was 87 miles from Zurich to Bern. I whined to Kathleen that it seemed to be uphill most of the way. She said that I must be mistaken, as I would have just followed the Safe, which would have been quite flat. Unfortunately, I took the more scenic route, which opened up onto a glorious vista of the last dying rays of sun on Bern, but also meant a lot of unnecessary climbing at the end of a long day in the dark. This was nearly made up for, however, by the chance encounter of the Lindt factory. Come to momma! Probably for the best, however, I was limited in what I to what I wanted to schlep on my bike. That night, after Kathleen, hostess with the mostest, cooked me dinner, we went out for a drink with a very young, newly out as "bisexual" work colleague of hers, and I was just about able to string sentences together. Yesterday, I hung out with Kathleen in the morning, then biked off to Interlaken when she went to play volleyball. That was a route of truly Sound of Music amazing scenery, and I had to stop at least 987 times to take pictures. Interlaken itself is overrun with Chinese and Indian tourists. Kathleen says that, for the Indians at least, this is because it is the setting of many Bollywood mooves, as they can't film in Kashmir. Who knew? I chatted with another cyclist on the train back. He had just done 230km and 2 passes that day. Made me feel like a weenie. Of course, his bike was made of helium, but still... K and I went for Swiss food last night and I had veal sausage, which was delicious. I'm sure that baby cow can be happy knowing how yummy it was, as I bury my guilt. And now I'm back on the train, surrounded by annoying people. I do intend to come back to Switzerland to cycle though. Smooth rooads, polite drivers, no glass, scenery out the wazoo. What's not to love? Hmm, the train stops and sits for 15 minutes at some pissant nothing of a station in a god forsaken town in southeastern France. Here's a novel idea..., leave 15 minutes later? I'm sure the French have their strange, impenetrable reasons for this... ;-) Hmm, apparently the passport control on the train works like the 2nd border control north of San Diego. It's really more of a brown person check... And the delay was for a 2nd train to attach. My original suggestion still stands though... Oh, and old French woman who thinks dominoes a great game to play on the train, in the quiet car. Yeah baby, travelling 12th class is the way to go!

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