Our first day starts out very relaxed. We sleep in and finish the last of our packing. Besides saving us a lot of motorway miles, the car train has the added benefit of leaving late afternoon. It’s only a 2 hour ride to the Düsseldorf train station, so this is a super relaxed way to start the holiday. To top it off we’ll arrive in Villach early tomorrow morning, hopefully well rested.
Today is also Pentecost and my birthday, what better time to start off. Even the rain showers that started in the morning make way for a sunny blue sky. By the time the roads are drying up, the bikes are ready to go.
After an unremarkable ride we arrive well in time for the boarding. And we’re definitely not alone.
Before boarding commences straps are distributed amongst the bikers. 4 straps for each bike so you can choose yourself where the bike will be strapped down. Great system.
Riding the bikes on the train is a bit tricky, mainly because there’s 2 levels and bikes are all parked on the lower level. The floor of the second level is very low. I had to press my chin all the way down on the tank bag in order not to hit my head.
But once you’re on the bike is professionally secured and all that’s left is to grab the tank bag with my tooth brush and some clothes for on the train.
And off we go! With German efficiency, at 17h58 exact.
The vehicle section of the train is filled with bikes, old-timers and cars of pensioners that don’t like flying, but are no longer up to riding for hours on the motorway to get to their favored Kärnten.
After grabbing a bite and a few beers in the dining car we spend the rest of the evening enjoying the views of the Rhine valley and the cities we pass before the sun sets.
We hit our bunks early, breakfast will be served at 6AM.