Tuesday, 30 April 2013


I am sitting here in Meckenbeuren beside Lake Konstanz in Southern Germany having successfully crossed Europe by train in 23 hours. I set off taking my bike for what I knew would be a complicated journey. The overnight sleeper train from Plymouth dulled me into semi-stupour but I could not sleep. I arrived in London at 5am, assembled the panniers onto my bike, fixed up the lights and set off to find St Pancras Station. This was a strange experience. I have never seen London quiet before but at 5am there were just a few delivery vehicles and not much more.

I had a companion though. It was Badger who first joined me on my marathon journey around the coastline of the North Sea in 2010. Badgar went around the North Sea twice for he left me to join Dagmar on her journey. Badger went to live in Meckenbeuren with Dagmar until September last year when both visited me in Plymouth. Badger then stayed with me only to go into hibernation until I took him around Dartmoor last week. Badger is to be reunited with Dagmar as we take a two week trip through Switzerland and into France.

Eurostar's rules meant that bike and Badger travel separately from me to Paris and they were booked into a freight terminal. My Eurostar train was eventful only by the snoring from the person behind me and momentary entertainment of a family arguement on the seats opposite. Everything was going well until Paris. I went to collect my bike and Badger only to find that they had arrived early and gone back to London! Aghhh, I cried.  There were long discussions. I was to carry on my journey and my bike would be delivered to Meckenbeuren.  My wife texted to say that Badger had fixed this and it was my fault.  I had kept him too long in hibernation. So not only has Badger gone round the North Sea twice but he now crosses the English Channel three times in a day. I must carry on.

I walk from Paris Nord to Est stations, catch a TGV to Strassbourg, catch another train and another, now in Germany and heading south.

The scenery is very pleasant and it is interesting comparing all the European Trains. I feel like Michael Portillo on his recent BBC TV series on trains. Dagmar comes meet me and my last train arrives after dark in Meckenbeuren.

Meanwhile as I write Badger and my bike have now reached Stuttgart. They are expected here at 5pm this evening

Wednesday, 24 April 2013


On Sunday, I set off with my bike by train to the little town of Meckenbeuren.  I am embarking on a 12 day mystery tour to Avignon.  All I know is that I will be cycling through Switzerland, a country I have only ever spent two days in.  Meckenbeuren is located by the beautiful Lake Konstanz and where I meet my buddy, Dagmar who has planned our tour.  All I need now is to embark on 6 trains and a 20 hour journey!