Here we are on the 12.58 to Brussels and what a sodding rigmarole it was. Getting to St. Pancras was easy enough, but the fun began when we arrived at Eurodispatch where we had to disassemble a couple of bikes to go in the stout black bike box supplied. Given that the chances are that any bike being transported will be a touring bike, i.e. equipped with luggage racks, it is very awkward that the boxes are too small for a bike with racks. As luck would have it, there was a spare “complete bike” slot so we only had to dismantle the one.
Then there was the tortuous business of having our luggage checked. Our rookie status was clear for all to see as various bits and pieces of my attire ended up in an untidy heap in the tray on the conveyor. When I thought the torture was over I found myself trapped in a cubicle where a machine struggled personfully to try to match the photo in my passport with the image of my face on a screen. Whether this is due to beards is hard to say, but mine matches the picture in my passport for only a few days in any given six-monthly period, which is roughly how often I shave.
When we get to Brussels I have the tedious task of trying to build a bike out of a box of components, hoping that we haven’t lost any.
I’ll go by boat next time.
Postscript: Jeff became a victim of a light-fingered felon who made off with his watch shortly after we left Brussels station. Luckily the watch was fairly old and of not much value. That’s two Eurostar trips in succession that my companions or I have been victims of petty crime. I had my pocket picked in Lille las year.