Day 6 - Sun 29-Jan-2006
It's been so cold that I've been in the hotel before dark, and out late in the mornings (in the vain hope that the sun sill have warmed the place up!), so it was a late breakfast and a final stroll down to the Dom - a service was taking place, so I stayed for a little while before heading out to the big railway bridge to get some photos. By that time it was approaching noon, so I walked over to the railway station. Top Tip the warmest part of Koln station is the central bit near Burger King.
The train arrived before it was scheduled to, and I'm now on board and sitting at my window seat with a mother, daughter and (very) young son opposite me. Their extended family were on the platform to wave them off - All smiles, no tears.
Why do people insist on putting their bags on the floor near their feet? There's plenty of overhead storage, why put your bag on the dirty floor and take up space you could use to move around? It's a mystery to me..
Once the train got onto the TGV line, then it really began to move at one point we did 1Km in 12 seconds. We arrived at Brussels on time, and I found that my Eurostar was already open so I decided to check-in and see if Seat 61 was free. The one in carriage 7 was taken, but the one in carriage 11 was free! The upgrade to 1st will cost me, but the rest of the train is crowded, and there is next to no-one in 1st.
I even met another nutter (apart from myself) who has a travel Teddy Bear, she has a Penguin, and took a photo of him reading a book in his own seat. Well - I've been fed and watered, and the chief of the train hasn't been around to collect my upgrade charge (and we're in the Channel Tunnel now).
Oh - there is excitement, some one must have fallen ill, as a PA announcement was made requesting a Doctor. So many people came through the carriage they put out another saying that a Doctor had come forward, and thanking everyone. As a fellow passenger said "There are more doctors onboard this train that in a hospital".
Arrived on time at Waterloo, but there was a huge queue for the taxi's, so I decided to catch one outside - trouble was there were none outside either, and I ended up walking all the way to Liverpool Street. There were no direct trains, so I ended up catching the train to (irony of ironies) Stansted Airport! Eventually made it home by 21:30 - ready for work tomorrow!