A huge thank you to Belgium for another great long weekend. Still the friendliest Europeans in my experience, with one of the cleanest and most efficient rail networks. No surprise given that they laid Europe’s first in 1830.
Thanks also to Sheilah for the pedometer, and Anni for mailing it on to Marina for her to bring over when I left the silly thing lying in Cardiff. Obviously, it was great to see Marina again (along with “Lumpy”) for the first time in ages. Great company as ever, and good luck with the de-Lumpy-ing next month!
At Mol station, we gave out free waffles to appreciative rockers on the platform before being whisked to Antwerp and onto another train headed south. I disembarked at Brussels North to spend over three hours onlline updating this blog. Marina stayed on until Charleroi South and, as I later gathered, made it home both safely and on time. A remarkable feat given that she was flying with LyingAir.
My bus was easy enough to get on and off although there were two screaming kids to put up with until we reached Dusseldorf. There was a muted cheer when the doors closed after they’d stepped off.
Almost seven hours after I got on the bus, I got off in Frankfurt-am-Main (the one in the south-west-ish of Germany) and had to walk a whole two minutes to the Frankfurt Hostel on the other side of the street.
The directions said to look for the big flag advertising a language school. As I arrived late in the evening and it was dark, it would have made more sense to tell me to navigate towards the very brightly-lit and easy-to-spot WORLD OF SEX shop, and just pop into the door next to it.
It’s a great little hostel with a wonderful atmosphere and I had to book an extra night when I found out that Frankfurt-Hahn airport (two hours from Frankfurt…) is closed overnight. My original plan was to sleep the night there for my early check-in. Well, I did book the night. Then I cancelled it (no quibbles, refund right away) and opted to just stay up really late in the reception area instead.
As I sat in the reception/bar, I listened to all the accents around me. To paraphrase a line from Hostel – are there any Germans in Frankfurt? Barring the two guys working there, every single accent I heard was American. Oh, and I did overhear one guy completely mistaking Monaco for Morocco.
Despite sleeping for an age on the bus, I was dead tired and the first one to bed in my dorm. Nice and comfy and I was asleep all too quickly.