05.06.2008 - 05.06.2008 20 °C
The whole dreaded trip began, at least, in a good way. Probably the best possible way. I headed down to Switzerland on the night train trying to follow/respond to an absolutely fantastically funny if also perhaps slightly drunken conversation between a Dane, Swiss and Romanian - admittedly the latter two are friends of mine anyway, and we were deliberately traveling together - which was taking place in 5 different languages (plus, often a sixth, "international drunk") and which was the most entertainment I have had in years. I would try and explain some of it, but it's just not really worth it. You had to be there.
By the time we parted in Basle the next morning, I was in such good spirits I had almost forgotten what lay ahead. In fact, i would have completely forgotten about it if hadn't already been limping – Monday nights football, in retrospect, was really not a clever idea - and it wasn't pissing it down with rain (yup, i was now freezing in my shorts). This was compounded when I reached the hospital to discover the queue was about 5hours long (my last chance had been to turn up in Basle and join the queue – I have been treated there before so it would have been relatively simple), and i did not have that sort of time to wait.
Back at the railway station, i was cold, wet, miserable and with only one course of action available to me. Unfortunately, i didn't have the German drug squad number to hand, so couldn't phone them up with an anonymous tip off to try and delay the bus' progress for a few days. Thus i'm now on a train to Milan, and reduced to praying that (a) the weather is so bad, no planes can land anywhere near by – eg Europe - at all (b) the van breaks down/is stolen/never arrives or (c) everybody does arrive safely, but magically, my bike/kit do not leaving me unable to ride.
Of course, my bags are going by van and not via Heathrow terminal 5, so the odds are against it.