Archive for January 8th, 2011

Cross country

Bicycle carrying coach.

We were invited to stay at a friends apartment near Freiburg over the new year, so naturally we went by train. People are generally used to our eccentric car-free habits but when we go for longish journeys by train someone will still react like we’ve announced our intention to mount an expedition to the north pole. Especially when we’re taking our bikes. And this was new year when the timetables change, and according to legend, trains disappear without trace leaving stranded travellers cursing their decision not to use a car. And the morningwe were supposed to be going to Freiburg it had been snowing for several days. Very heavily.

Unfortunately for the sake of interesting stories, it went entirely smoothly. Trains were arriving in Stuttgart looking like the queen of the snow goblins, but they were doing it on time. We had three changes (the flip side of cheap and cheerful travel) but that can be a blessing when you’ve got three excited energetic boys in tow. And we got to travel on the top deck of the double deck trains which is something I find more exciting that most people of my age should. There was even a cavern of a space on all the trains for bicycles. In Freiburg there was a comprehensive cycle infrastructure and even out in our village we had cycle routes marked out, and very little snow.

Which made it all the more annoying that we’d listened to the pessimists and decided bringing our bikes would be too difficult.

‘Be more optimistic’ should probably be on my list of resolutions. Still we got more train rides because of this…

Snow covered train in Karlsruhe

Changing trains


The sort of public transport I used to dream about in the UK: bus actually meeting train. Buses in this town seem to be names after poets: the one that came in after this was called ‘Goethe’.

Tip for travelers to Germany: always use the toilet when you have one. The next train may not have one. Like this one, for example, although it did have space for bikes so I suppose I shouldn’t complain…

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