Trains , trains and rain . You don’t just click your fingers and arrive at the start of a new journey. You first have to work through the logistics of how to get to where it is that you want your journey to start . In my case this trip starts in Trier which is on the banks of the great Mosel River in south western Germany . Getting there involved arising before the sparrows did and making my way to London Waterloo train station. From there it was a 3.6 km ride to Kings Cross station and then udispatching my bike into the care of “Eurostar Dispatch” who would transport it to Brussels for me. I would board the train to Brussels and travel the 3 hours it took and collect my bike at the other end. Having done that I would then board another train that would take me on a slow journey through the south east heartland of Belgium and across the border into Luxembourg City . From there it was a 56 km ride through beautiful undulating landscape and alongside a bubbling brook that would soon expand to become the mighty Mosel. Following its flow would take me across the border into Germany and on to Trier. It’s here that the cycle trip starts proper and also where I meet my 4 cycling companions for the next 5 days on this sector from Trier to Frankfurt. More on them later.
6 hours of trains, one channel tunnel, and 5 countries . Only in Europe.
The last time I got up this early to have the platform to myself I was working. I can still remember those days. Sort of. I think.
All trains lead to ......Brussels in this case.
In case there was any confusion as to where I was when I stepped out of the main train station. It was quickly dispelled.
The mighty Mosel River on a wet and sullen springs day. Still attractive though.
Unless you were looking for it you wouldn’t know you had just left your 4th country of the day and we’re now in your 5th .
The mighty Mosel. One moment your rolling through quaint little towns abreast a small brook and then as you exit a non descript village (although quaint ) WHAM!!! You find yourself alongside a river of immense size . Quite extraordinary really. Even in the rain and even after 45 km of riding .
Facts of the day -
The channel tunnel is 52 km long although only 32 km of it under water .The Queen opened it in 1994 . It was completed at 80% over the original budget. The English and French tunnellers both began from their respective sides but despite this they met closer to France than they did England. On average the tunnel is 50 m under water . The two couples sitting across the aisle were doing a blind couples date to Belgium for the weekend and had paid 300 gbp each for an all inclusive 3 day weekend away to Brussels . That’s train travel (return) a four star hotel for 3 nights , 3 breakfasts and dinners (sans alcohol) and a guided tour each day.
Blind couples date ? I hear you ask. Have few friends or want to meet new people as a couple? Then you pay up and join up and get access to a whole catalogue of like minded couples. Takes the scare away from doing one-one blind dating. Both couples swore by it.
The things you learn .