Alastair helped me with the final packing, late on a Friday night. He wisely counselled me to discard additional warm clothes in favour of a manual slr camera, thumb piano, Japanese and Mexican good luck charms, a book of sounds to use in poetry, and a rainbow butterfly mask (full equipment list here). Al really came through for me there, as he always has. A great captain of our good ship Yoghurt indeed…
We were both quite pleased that everything fitted in and around the 35L pack. Although a cup of tea was reward enough, we decided to take it on step further and venture on to the ‘Battersea Barge‘ for a drink. From the noise surging the 20m across the water, it sounded like it was a good night for us to check it out for the first time. Stepping on board, we realised It was a private party for young, drunk kids dressed as gangsters. Interesting as it was, we really felt a bit out of place. Al moved on in favour of sleep, I moved on in favour of sorting out my taxes, receipts, and old paper versions of my personal and professional vision…
[6 hours later]
…just as I scanned the last of my many bits of paper articulating what I will have achieved and how want to feel in ten year’s time, Alastair awoke and prepared a breakfast for a departing adventurer: Porridge with every imaginable type of fruit and nut to go with it. Unfortunately, I left my run a bit late and had to cut short the breakfast conversation about people who miss flights to cycle, then run to the tube to make sure I didn’t miss my own train (I have done it before!).
Once on the train from Paris to Munich, I realised that my tickets all the way to Bucharest were for the right dates, times, but wrong month. Silly me or silly woman in the Rail Europe centre on Regent St. Anyway, the friendly and accomodating french conductor didn’t notice and I travelled in comfort through to Munich. The German conductor did notice, and asked for another 20 euro for the seat reservation to Vienna. He either ignored or did not notice that the whole InterRail pass was for the wrong date too!
Paris, Munich, Vienna I don’t have not that much to say about. Both Vienna and Munich have a proliferation of porn/strip venues around the station – only slightly outnumbering kebab shops and internet cafes. Perhaps there is something to say about my addiction to wireless that it is often available in the same location as greasy food and naked women – the new social outcasts are those wandering around looking for their fix of broadband? Anyway, I was happy to escape these and and get my travelling meditation and exercise regime off to a scenic start in the glorious gardens of one of the large ‘summer houses’….
I will upload more photos later, but for now you can see some more on Picasa, here.