Woke up with plenty of time as I was only 30 min away from train station.
Ate bfest buffet last time. Will miss having a couple free whipped coffees with milk.
Checked out and learned I got a couple £ back for returning card. Seems they are souvenirs or just easily lost.
Walked to Victoria station to St Pancreas for international rails.
Passed through passport control where bags X-rayed.
French guys look at passport, duly stamped after 2 seconds. No real point to process.
Over 30 min before depart and zero water fountains. Have pay 2£ for water & paper, no free water as you also pay to pee.
Near board time the dreaded delayed announcement is broadcast, 30min.
45min delay so I wash up, who knows when I’ll see restroom again.
Finally near an hour delay, we frantically board. Only then I realize my ticket is in German and I have no idea which car or seat I’m in so I just sit down and quickly told to move by the seat holder.
Find conductor who points me to seat info. No neighbor, score !
Our delay now means my transfer is impossible so have to reschedule.
Very long line for train info but they have a couple brave people stamping tickets and letting people know when next train is.
Process is easy, just get on next train to where you’re going, so 2hr wait for me.
It’s raining when I head out to see Brussels and locate a coffee shop.
Across the street is lunch buffet spot with donner aka schwarma. Prob best option for the day.
Have minor freak out as I cannot find track 5A but soon realized just need to find track 5 as A-D are walkable on platform.
‘Wait for clean’, states message on car, nothing actually going on inside.
Doors open and so everyone pushes in thus making things take longer.
Find seat and stow bags, music time.
Belgium and Germany are so green. Lush green like out of movies.
Wind farms, cows, & sheep dot the countryside.
Arrive to Köln with moments to spare for next connection.
Find platform and wait… where is the train?
It’s delayed 10min, will leave at same platform so don’t go anywhere, it’ll be here soon is roughly what announcer stated in German. English version was much shorter haha.
45 min delayed…
Finally there it is! Nearly an hour late due to mechanical ER, aka union strike.
Dark now and I’m nearly 4hours total off schedule, all due to London delay.
Only a few stops yet still over an hour to go.
Pull in round 11 to Karlsruhe and place is quiet.
I walk through places I’d normally be afraid of, but what do I see: joggers and bikers so must be safe.
Pass by a couple whores who make hand gestures but leave me be.
Wait outside my apt and emailed my host to let me in.
Wait longer, then call, text.
Finally she says buzz her last name. I should’ve figured that out!
I open the large windows take a big breath and collapse onto the bed. Fast asleep
Song: Kraftwerk Autobahn