I was ready for my train to Munich today, but I couldn’t help but feel a bit nervous about missing it or missing the interchange and getting stuck. I fumbled around with putting my bike in the right place and sat in the wrong seat a few times, but people were nice enough to show me the way. Six hours later, the train arrived in Munich and we were met with three walls of police officers. They were stopping migrants coming through and let the rest of us trickle into the station, while a crowd awaited behind them. There was a lot of commotion and I just wanted to get out.
I found out that my train tomorrow wouldn’t allow me to take my bicycle onboard, so I needed to find a bicycle bag before the shops closed. As I scrambled through town, I couldn’t ignore the beautiful buildings surrounding me.
Unfortunately my quest failed, the only bike bags available costed 600€ and they were massive too. I comforted myself with a hot bowl of pho, a Vietnamese dish to remind me of home.
I googled my bicycle conundrum and found a step by step guide from a Japanese lady who regularly takes her bike on trains. She has certainly perfected the technique and can do it in twelve minutes. I bought some duct tape and garbage bags, went down to the hostel lobby and had it all sorted before bed time.
In the morning I headed to the train station, with my bike in my left hand, two pannier bags in my right hand and my front basket wedged between my right elbow and hip. I could only walk 10m at a time before things started slipping, and eventually asked for help. A kind gentlemen, Matthieu carried my bike with me to the platform and I was ready to go. I had to switch trains once and I had 8 minutes to switch platforms and find the 18th wagon of the train. Luckily there were trolleys available for 50 cents, so I loaded my stuff and ran. With two minutes to spare, I sat down and had some sleep before we arrived in Paris.
It took a while to reassemble my bike on the other side, but once I started cycling, I was stunned with the unbelievably spectacular views. I was staying in an apartment with my work colleague’s brother in law, Chris, who moved to Paris with his wife, Leonie, and their two kids a year ago. I was so excited to arrive here, it was so much prettier than I remember, I couldn’t help but stare at epic buildings, parks and statues. I settled in nicely had dinner with the Chris, Leonie and Frank (Chris’ friend who was visiting from Perth) and managed to get plenty of recommendations for my two days of exploring. It was great to stay in a real home and the neighborhood is so lovely and quiet as well. I fell asleep immediately and prepared myself for plenty of sightseeing.