We’re half-an-hour north of Brussels heading towards Amsterdam on the Thalys. The carriage stinks of cheese and meat from the bags of food we bought in Brussels. We’ve also got three gigantic loaves of bread, 10 litres of wine, various bottles of spirits and soft drinks. It’s fair to say we’re a little weighed down and a little bit tired.
We met at St Pancras at 7 this morning for a full English breakfast and variously stiffening drinks. Then it was onto the Eurostar – ten men in matching t-shirts bearing the Disorient Express logo, like a stag party planned by Alan Bennett.
The next stop was Brussels, and the reality of what we’re in the business of doing hit home. First, the sheer physical effort of wandering around a crowded city with heavy rucksacks. Then shopping
in the Brussels equivalent of Tesco Metro – still with rucksacks. Then getting back to the station with enough food and drink to get ten men past Copenhagen. All that with Belgian beer inside you.
But we’ve made it to the next leg. Soon we’ll be in Amsterdam, changing onto the 15-hour Borealis, and then sitting down and demolishing some of those heavy comestibles. We’re on our way.
And best of all we saw David Suchet outside a chocolate shop in a beautiful Brussels arcade. That’s right. We saw Hercule Poirot in Belgium