On our last day, our only non-negotiable goal for the day was to get ourselves moving from train to train all the way to London. Or more exactly, from bus to train to train, as there was a bus replacement service involved. But more about that later…
Before we actually got moving, we had a morose breakfast while contemplating whether we should get pillows like these in the hotel’s breakfast room—so I could unconsciously refresh my knowledge of French wine regions without even trying:
Then we still had a few hours to have a last wander around Trier.
So we walked to see Karl Marx’s birth home:
And when I say “to see the house” I literally mean that we went to see the house but did not enter it, as we did not have enough time to pay a proper, in-depth visit.
We also walked to see the Roman bridge, or as I read somewhere, the oldest functioning bridge founded by the Romans—it was quite evident that it was not entirely Roman!
We then retraced our steps as the bridge is a bit on the outskirts of the town centre, and went back to the historical area, as we had more energy to peek into churches and things than the previous day (it was also less hot and stuffy, which also helped).
So we looked at the Dom, which apart from the Gothic architecture had plenty of beautiful stained glass, making for really pretty light patterns…
… and a lot of sculptures, and more interestingly, grotesques, which amused me greatly!
After that we were getting to lunch time so we decided to just have lunch before everyone else had the same idea… and what a good idea it was: soon after we sat in the restaurant, every table was occupied. Phew!
I ordered a thing that I thought was going to be different (read: nicer) and ended up being another example of “potatoes, mushrooms and cream”:
This time I skipped the schnitzel, and replaced it with a vegetarian patty that I suspect was made of potato starch, at least partially. It was sort of pleasant when you first bit into it, but the mushroom flavour soon collapsed and became just an undefined creamy savoury salty stock cubey thing. And I just could not finish it. I’m very against food waste, but I just didn’t have it on me.
The salad was also a good idea until you reached the bottom layers and realised the leaves had been marinating on the dressing for way too long, and they had become all soggy or as we say in Spanish, MUSTIAS, and it goes against my religion to have salad this sad.
So I declared defeat: I did not finish my salad either.
We went to our hotel to pick up our bags, and walked back to Trier’s train station… to take a bus, because the train line between Koblenz and Luxembourg was undergoing repairs on that day.
And to take a bus meant that we ended up using the… AUTOBAHN!! (read it to the tune of Kraftwerk, obviously).
In the same way as we crossed countries seamlessly when in the train, we did the same with the bus. 30ish minutes or so after the bus started, we were in a different country!
The train from Luxembourg to Brussels felt like it was exactly the same one we had taken on the way in, except the floor was slightly less sticky. Maybe they had mopped it in our absence!
In any case, it was quite an uneventful trip in which I did the same as before: read, listen to music, look outside.
On arrival to Brussels, we had some spare time that we used by following some of the “man in the train” advice, and so rather than waiting on the slightly soulless hall in the station or even worse, the depression-inducing Eurostar hall, we went to the bar of the station hotel, and had the last Belgian beer and frites:
I thought I had reached peak potato while in Germany, but I discovered I can hardly say “no” to an offering of frites. And paired with a cherry beer? It’s just impossible.
Later, after witnessing someone being a bit confused that they had forgotten a Swiss Army knife in their bathroom bag (!!?), going through the double passport check, and experiencing how the Eurostar departures hall is becoming crappier and crappier with each passing year, we were finally allowed to go upstairs and into the platform to take the train back to London, with our precious cargo of Mosel gold 🤩😋
We had achieved our goal for the day: making it back to London!
And then I did not have or buy potatoes in two or three weeks, because it had fially happened… I had reached PEAK POTATO ⛰️🥔🤣