We have been on a trip involving many trains….
Train One: dull old train to London from Bicester
Train Two: Eurostar to Brussels from St Pancras.
This experience is interestingly the direct opposite to most airports where, once you have endured the tedium of removing your boots and belt for baggage checks, you are rewarded with the airport equivalent of riches and treasures beyond compare – branches of Pret A Manger, enough Duty free smells to confuse a beagle and the pleasure of watching people drink too much before flying. At St Pancras before you go through security there is a huge range of shops and entertainment to keep you amused from M&S to F&M and from Macarons to Macchiato.
Go through security and there is a waiting room with not enough seats.
The duty free shop was the highlight as it was selling copies of the English Garden including a piece I did about Chatsworth. I seldom see things that I have written on actual paper so it was a lovely surprise.
We arrive in Brussels which has never been my favourite place. We are staying close to the station as we leave early tomorrow. It is pretty rough as much of the area is being dug up for a new metro line. We wander into the middle of the city eat chips and return to the hotel to watch Vikings.
Tintin is watching over us.
Train Three: Brussels to Cologne.
Cologne (or Koln) cathedral is literally within spitting distance of the train station (which is lucky as the train is late and we don’t have much time before we get on the next one). It is a very handsome building which was hit fourteen times by bombs during the last war although the twin spires remained untapped. Personally I would have put it further from the railways but I guess there must be sound reasons…..
Train Four: Cologne to Hamburg
Whizzy but not very exciting countryside. This doesn’t really matter as the big highlight was our passing through Munster. Why is that a highlight? is it because of the Munster Anabaptists who took over the city insisting that all citizens should disrobe in expectation of the second coming (in the end the leaders of this sect were horribly tortured to death in 1534)? It is because of a monumental event may years ago on 30th July: I was born in Munster and have never been back until this day. I was a little disappointed that there was no brass band or civic reception.
Train Five: Hamburg to Copenhagen
A long schlep but there is something exciting about a train journey: at least there was for us doing it. It sounds very dull in the retelling as I have mostly forgotten what we saw and there were no dramatic occurrences apart from the surprising fact that German trains are often late. Not what one would expect from the general Teutonic PR machine..
So now we are in Copenhagen and what a fine city it is – I will write more anon.
I am listening to a podcast called The Rabbit Hole Detectives. The picture is the very pretty touristy bit of Copenhagen.