Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Day 1 - London to Brussels, Cologne and Hilden

First day of my journey and the first stage started from London St. Pancras. It was an early start, I got there before 8am to have time for coffee and some photography.

It felt good to finally set off to the journey I have been thinking about and planning for the past months.

Checking in and going through security at the Eurostar terminal was quick and the train left on time at 8:58 towards Brussels Midi.

During this first journey I realised that my initial plan to have Google Tracks track the whole journey will not work out as the GPS reception in trains and through the tunnels is not very good and the Fonepad has a pretty crap GPS built in. Will have to leave this part out and maybe just track my walks instead.

The journey was otherwise uneventful and we arrived on time at Brussels Midi to a grey sky and heavy rain.
My first thought was to go and seek shelter in a cafe or bar, have some coffee and maybe some Belgian beers.
Then I realised that this will not be the first time I will get rain on my trip so I took my jacket out and set off for a walk around Brussels to take some photos. I had just over 2h in total to spend till my next train to Cologne.

Most of my photos from Brussels were street photographs of people as the buildings and architecture was very uninspiring due to the grey and dull weather. This combined with the fact that I tried to keep the lens free from drops so tilting the camera up was not really what I wanted to do too often.

The ICE train left on time at 14:25 with the usual German efficiency and I managed to get my favourite seat in the train. If you ever travel on the ICE, don't bother to book a seat but just go for the bar car and find a seat there, it's the best place as you have a table, get served and can enjoy a coffee or beer while watching the landscape go by. The only downside is there are no plug sockets but this is not really an issue.

Arriving in Cologne to a brighter sky was a relief and meant I could pack my jacket away. Rather than taking the first train to Hilden, I decided to go for a short walk around and take some pictures around the Dom.

After my time in Cologne, I took the train to Hilden to see my parents and brother before I will head onwards to Copenhagen tomorrow evening.

Walking back home in Hilden, I saw this nicely lit shop and had to take a picture. I am very impressed how it came out and it it my favourite photo of the day.

You can see all pictures I took today on my unedited Flickr stream here, I will upload automatically all pictures there taken with the Eye-Fi card ad will manually upload the others to have as a cloud backup.

As a side note, I will try to post more of my preparations and planing stages throughout the journey and will keep the blog updated whenever possible. If you post a comment or send me an email, I will always reply as soon as I can.


  1. Already, I can see this is going to be great fun to live through vicariously. I hope you have a great adventure, Christian!

  2. I would expect you to know that place in ilden, should have gone by a few times. ;)