Deutsche Bahn ticket to Nuremberg, and just 5½ hours. Leave Brussels 245pm, arrive Nuremberg 8pm. Perfect. Coming back leave Nuremberg 12 and arrive Brussels 530pm Wednesday. Perfect again. So it is booked. Monday –th July first night in Brussels, then second night in Nuremberg, coming back to Brussels for Wednesday to Friday nights, home early Saturday morning. The Max is cheap and Eurostar not bad £89. That will be my next holiday, presuming no Snap tickets come online before then.
1910 Ten minutes late already after getting stuck at Hamm (as always), we now grind to a halt in the middle of the German countryside—a very waterlogged-looking countryside—halfway to Hannover. As if the journey was not long and arduous enough. Heavy dark grey skies, raining. It will be 930 before we reach Berlin today, and probably 1030pm till I get to the Kanthotel. Quite tempted to get a taxi straight to my hotel, as it is so late. I’ve been travelling since 730 this morning; I can treat myself to a bit of luxury, at the end of the journey.
On the ICE to Brussels. A much more spacious train than the Nuremberg to Frankfurt one! Sitting in the Caribic videokabins last night I was thinking when I get to Brussels Fifth Avenue I’m going to f—k the first half-decent girl there I see, don’t care who she is; but of course that feeling has passed, and my old reticence will no doubt still be in force when I get there. And that I realise (again, re-realise) is why Vienna so often does disappoint. To really find a place erotic, to be able to really release the erotic fly from the amber, raise the woolly mammoth from the ice, there needs first of all to be a really good source of pornography.
Blazing blue skies now; not a single cloud. Those red Austrian Railjets look so heavy & clunky compared to the smooth sleek airy ICEs. Truly a design classic. Exactly one hour till we arrive at Wien Hauptbahnhof. Well, I take my hat off to Deutsche Bahn this time. Two days of travelling have been smooth & peaceful & dead on time.
Crossing Austria on the ICE listening to Falco’s Rock Me Amadeus. Life is sweet. In just over two hours we will be in Vienna. 1125 Wels. Christ just 1 hour 40 minutes till we arrive in Vienna. Again no sign of anyone on the Wels platform. This is the quietest train I have ever been on. Normally I go from Munich to Vienna via Salzburg on an Austrian Railways Railjet and that train is always packed, so maybe this route is always the better one to take. Just a nuisance it goes to Wien Hauptbahnhof rather than Westbahnhof.
Regensburg, our first stop ticked off. One hour of the journey gone already. 10am. One & a half hours gone. 1030 Two hours gone. Plattling. A lovely, half-empty peaceful train so far. I’ve said it before, the ICE is one of the wonders of the modern world (Europe, anyway). On an ICE travelling across Europe, for however many hours, feels a real pleasure. The journey itself is a treat. We are really not picking up hardly any passengers along the way either. At Plattling and Passau the train draws in to an almost totally empty platform. How peaceful Europe feels compared to living in London!