The long way down to the sun – Berlin to Barcelona by train.


Why not?

Day 1 – Berlin to Paris

Not even 10mn out of Berlin and there’s the first glimpse of blue sky.

It will take a good couple of hours of train journey to see the brown grey Derrick filter fade and give way to rolling green hills bordered by pine forests instead.

Roaming in manicured fields, I see rather large geese, a lot of deers, 3 storks.

We pass majestic wind turbines waving down at us in slow motion as we cross the hills they are standing on through multiple tunnels.

The southern we travel, the bluer the sky, the greener the grass.

We are now approaching Frankfurt.

Frankfurt to Paris is in the dark. So I sip a beer whilst being shot through the champagne region at 316km/h.

I arrive in Paris Est. Speaking in French to the cab driver is weird.

I am in the mother country of one of my mother tongues.

The time to drop my stuff at the Blanc Boutique hotel, where everything is white (trust me to find that one) and I am out to explore the 11e.

Restaurants are still full at 11pm. Defo not Germany.

I find the Holy Holster two streets away.

I am pondering. What a life I am having.

Right now I am in a punk bar in the 11e in Paris. Listening to loud and raw punk music. Spotting a Terminator poster on the ceiling and a rifle displayed behind the counter. The barman is speaking to me with the most raucous voice I’ve ever heard.

I am choosing a strong French beer. He shows me a mini glass. A big glass please I come from Germany. He laughs.

Friendly chat at the counter with the locals. Gégé, a friend of the barman, is intent listening to my stories from Africa. I am offered a night cap that I will regret 30mn later.

Good nite Paris.

Day 2 – Paris to Barcelona

The time to recover from whatever was that nightcap last night by washing down a paracetamol pill with vitamined water, I’m off walking through the streets of Paris towards Gare de Lyon.

Quick caffeine fix in a St Bernard cosy cafe, I reach the station where I end up swallowed into a Fauchon shop. Macarons for everybody it is.

The TGV is ready. I climb the stairs to the second floor and I am pleased to discover my cosy window seat facing the right direction, extremely comfortable once I set it to the resting position.

I am traveling first class guys. Because, here’s the tip, it’s often cheaper than 2nd class during holidays.

Fast, comfortable with free wifi and plugs, shooting you at high speed through bucolic sceneries:

Don’t you love European trains.

Now allow me to apologise for not having many pics of what I saw during the actual train journeys, but at +250km/h everything is kind of blurred in pics.

But a train journey allows you to also experience the gradual metamorphosis of the scenery. From the northern pine tree forests under a heavy grey sky, bordered by clusters of dark grey or red brick houses with dark pointy roofs, to cypresses lines, palm trees and cream stone & white houses with lighter coloured and flatter roofs, narrow alleys, and now glimpses of ships standing in the shimmering waters as we get closer to the Mediterranean sea and cross its many enclaves.

From storks to flamingoes.


Wait for it



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