A day of firsts. The first day of traveling – from Vancouver to Strasbourg, my first night in Europe and first couchsurf of the trip. Although planned meticulously, I couldn’t help the flight delay, which meant a missed train connection. My first host Geoffroy was great, accomodating and very patient as I arrived at midnight, a mere 3.5 hours late. A tiring first day of travel and it challenged my patience but nothing more. Overall it passed without major problems.
Day of Journey:
Prologue (Stage 0 of 21) May 2nd and 3rd, 2009.
10hr 5m (flight), 4hr 6m (train)
~8000km (flight), 230km (train)
Flight -Air Transat (Cost: $741.75cdn return) Train – DB (Cost: 51.20€)
Twitter update: “Made it to Strasbourg, with less love for Air Transat. Delayed flight, missed train, midnight arrival. Slept alright, off to Colmar” – May 4th
So What Happened?
A ten hour flight is a great way to deal with the pre-tour jitters. I have an early admission, I’m a complete whore for rum and coke on airplanes. It doesn’t have anything to do with being nervous or needing to relax, but on the contrary, I think the feeling of knowing you have things you could be doing, but being unable to, is completely sublime. So I sit back and drink highballs and imagine myself sitting beside Foxy Brown – that’s the Pam Grier Foxy, not the sex bomb American Rapper Foxy – with me in a smoking jacket and some coke on the fold down table trays.
Of course, after ten hours on a plane, these feelings of excitement and the high of going to Europe has long passed, and it’s just time to get all pissy. NOTICE: Air transat no longer takes bikes for free, it’s $30.00. A policy that had changed after I booked and paid for my ticket. That meant little to them, and if i wanted my bike on my bike trip…it was pay up Bob Barker. That combined with the delayed flight, and missed train really got me in a foul mood and I quickly had stopped calling it Offenburg and started with Awfulburg. There was nothing to do in Awfulburg for the two hour stopover and had I any idea where I was going I would have assembled my bike and rode to Strasbourg which is just across the border. But, I didn’t. I got to Strasbourg at midnight and met Geoffroy at the train station. We walked back to his flat where I met his flatmate Pierre and quickly went to sleep. Then I quickly woke up. I slept for hours on the plane, but only about 5 that night. Strasbourg was great, Geoffroy and I spent the following morning touring around and he showed me the bike cooperative he worked with. It was impressive – a sort of OCB meets the bike co-op I and others developed in Sweden. Once I got to Strasbourg, the tour finally felt like it had started, and I shared great food, stories and a good time with Geoffroy, his girlfriend and Pierre. The next day: A short warm up ride of 75km to Colmar, France.
Picture of the Day: With two hours to kill on Offenburg, this is the best I got. Full euro, train, cigarettes, and the colours of the German Flag.