Today we sadly leave our tour friends behind and travel to Kiel in Germany to start our cruise. We caught a taxi to Grae du Nord (Paris North Station) at 6.30am to catch our train to Kiel. We got to the station by 7.00am (1 hour early) but prefer to be early than late. Not much happening here this time of morning. We found a coffee shop open and buy espresso and croissant for 2 euro 95. Enough for me at this time of day. Worked out which platform we needed and boarded about 7.35pm. Train left right on time and we had super comfy seats with loads of leg room - it was great. 46 euro for both of us to Cologne in Germany - cheap I tell ya - and comfort plus!!
We travel through some lovely countryside (through France, Belgium and bottom of Netherlands) befor arriving in Cologne - Germany at 11.15am. We have an hour here and grab a coffee, go to loo (1 euro here - expensive) and find our platform and wait for our train to arrive. It leaves right on time so be aware do not be late for these trains. We get on but are so confused as to where we should be as the carriages are not clearly marked - and I find some seats in a carriage with our seat numbers - so we sit on those. About half hour later a group of people come and kick us out of these seats and we finally find where we should be - 2 carriages up thank you very much. We finally find where we should be and it is so much better here and quieter with less kids.
The trip to Kiel now is about 4 more hours and is quite interesting. If we ever come back to Europe - we are going to try and be game enough to travel around by train. It is a bit out of my comfort zone but so far we are doing well and if you book in advance it is so cheap. I send Dave down to get some food - he comes back with the best baguette I have ever had and it was not expensive at all which was also surprising. We had some beers during the trip from the drinks cart that goes around and just enjoyed people watching and the scenery. It was so comfy - even the toilets were great. This is definately the way to travel - and the trains over here are so smooth you hardly know you are moving. I just love it - so by no means is this the last of our train travel.
Finally arrive in Kiel at 5.30pm and the feel of the place is great. We can see a cruise ship docked and start to get excited about our cruise now. We decide we can navigate ourselves around here and try to find the place we are staying at ourselves. When we think we have found the street - it appears not be it - so after asking for directions we do finally find it (and have walked the long way round to get to it). Now an issue - no reception, they are meant to email you a pin code to get in - and I have had no wifi to receive emails. So I sit down and try to pinch someones wifi to upload emails whilst Dave goes into the shop next door - who call the owner and gives Dave the pin code over the phone. Well Dave being Dave writes it down wrong and we can't get in. So I make another call to the owner, get the correct pin code and we go into our room. Well..........it is not a budget room - it is an apartment with a full kitchen, dining, lounge, bedroom and seperate bathroom. It is totally amazing - and I think just what we need after 21 days on the road. So we go for a walk - this place is so lovely - and find a local supermarket. We buy some food for dinner and breakfast, bottle of red wine, piccolo of champas and beer for Dave - 12 euro - it is so cheap here!! Oh oh oh - and it has a pod machine (not sure yet how to use it but wont take me too long to work out). So we have a lovely meal and chillax to get ready for our cruise tomorrow.
Now guys - dont stress too much - as whilst we are on our cruise we probably will not have wifi (because I refuse to pay for it). So I will not be able to upload blogs until the cruise is over - so you will get a week peace from me - hehehehehe.
Hope all is going well with you all and will have our next contact in a weeks time xxxxx