Monday, January 3, 2011

A train trip across Europe

Take the train from St Pancras to Brussels at 8.30 am. There is slight mayhem outside the station as Police sort out a serious accident. The train is so quick we don't notice going through the Tunnel. A brief stop over and we are soon speeding onto Cologne on a Deutch bahn ICE express. We stay at the Station backpackers hostel which is pleasant but basic. The cathedral right outside the station is very impressive.
We explore by the Rhine and have dinner outside under heaters. The town is quite attractive busy with shops and shoppers. Prices seem similar to UK. After another walk round on tuesday we take the cable car across to the far side of the river and enjoy a walk in the park past the expo. On the bridge back over the Rhine young couples have shown their commitment to each other by attaching a padlock to the railings.
Wednesday the 13th and we are off again on the ICE to Berlin.
We stay on the east side in the very charming and reasonably priced Markischerhof hotel. Berlin is a very charming city which is easy to walk around it being so flat.
 So we see the sights including the Brandenburg gate and the Pergamom museum with its recreations of archeological ruins.
After three nights we proceed to Warsaw again via ICE. The scenery continues flat as it has been all the way from Calais - amazing. Tom meets us at the station after a 6 hour journey during which we meet a couple of jolly German ladies in the dining car who are choristers on the way to a Chopin festival. Warsaw too is flat and easy to explore on foot. There are delis on every street.
On Sunday Tom drives us to the quaint village of Kazimierz Dolny. This has the nearest thing to a hill we have seen on this trip. We have some fine meals out including soup served inside a loaf of bread.
The highlight of the trip are the Red squirrels in the park by the Presidential palace.

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