… that is pretty much guaranteed to get my goat is the general unco-operative spirit of people who seem to deliberately set out to obstruct and inconvenience every single one of their fellow human-beings. And I had one of those on the train today from Leuven to Brussels. Here I was, struggling with my mammoth suitcase and there was a family, with pushchairs and all kind of encombrances blocking the passageway, and they simply sat there and watched as I struggled my way down the aisle.
You can tell that I’m leaving Leuven and heading closer to Brussels, on the first leg of my voyage elsewhere.
Despite being thoroughly exhausted after my walk around the city yesterday – so much so that I had an early night, and despite two trips down the corridor, I was awake quite early – round about 06:20 or thereabouts. And I’d been on my travels during the night too – but then again you don’t want to know too much about this seeing as how you are probably eating your breakfast.
After breakfast I packed up and sorted everything out. By the time that I had done this, it was midday and so I went and fetched Caliburn. Strawberry Moose had quite a surprise as I stuffed him into his suitcase, and then I took that up to my room and took down everything that I don’t need. I then took Caliburn back to his little hidey-hole and walked back.
On the way back I bought two baguettes – two being necessary because there is no other way of my obtaining any food tomorrow during the next leg of my journey so I have to make butties. I had lunch and made the butties for tomorrow and then packed my suitcase and sorted out everything that I need.
And here I have had a disaster – I don’t have the charger for my other telephone. Well, I do, but there are two of them and one doesn’t work and it’s the one that doesn’t work that I have managed to bring with me. So this is going to cause a major problem tomorrow late afternoon.
I’d also forgotten the saucepan. I had to wash that and then walk back to Caliburn with it, otherwise I would only forget it. I know that it’s not much good, but it’s the only one that I have at the moment.
And another thing – I’ve solved the mystery of why I always seem to pick up an infection, a heavy cold or cough (or both) when I’m in my room, which goes almost as soon as I leave. The reason for this is that there is about 6 feet of dust and fluff underneath my bed. This cleaner-person just seems to clean where he can see and that’s your lot. No wonder it’s affected me so much.
But, as I have said before, I’m not complaining. I had an important reduction on the room rate due to the time that I was spending there and the price of less than €26 per night, breakfast included, was an excellent deal.
By 16:30 I was ready to leave and so I hit the streets. Dragging the monster suitcase behind me I made it to the bus stop and then on the bus to the station. And despite the difficulties I made it to Brussels all the same. And I got lost in Bruxelles-Midi – it’s all changed since I was last here and what with repairs and renovations and bits closed off, it took me an age to find my way around to the Thalys lounge.
It was 17:15 when I arrived and my train was due to depart at 19:15, and we could board it half an hour earlier, which seemed like a good idea to me. I sat around for a while and then went off in search of food because there won’t be any at all where I’m going tonight. I ended up with a veggie burger and chips and a bottle of pop, quite over-priced (which is only to be expected when you have a captive audience) but wasn’t as disgusting as I was fearing.
Just for a change, I was a mere third on the train and my suitcase, with His Nibs inside, was first on the luggage rack. That’s much more like it than the mad scramble that occurs at Lyon Part-Dieu (which is where this train is heading, incidentally).
Not that it made much difference though, because there was hardly anyone on it. I’ve never been on such an empty TGV – or have I? The one that I took from Lille to Charles de Gaulle a couple of years ago was quite empty, so I recall. It didn’t fill up much more at Lille and we shot off into the sunset from there still pretty-much empty.
At the airport (yes, I’m at the airport) we had the usual half-hour wait for the shuttle bus, and when I finally arrived at my hotel, the hotel had no trace of my booking, even though I had the agency’s confirmation. This led to a very interesting 30 minutes at the reception desk, but luckily the bridal suite hadn’t been booked and so I’m spending the night in 5-Star luxury in an emperor-sized bed. And you can’t say fairer than that, can you?
So an early start tomorrow, and we are off on our travels again. See you soon!