Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Roadtrip to Sweden: Bielefeld gibt es doch!

We made the mistake of entering Dijon early this morning to look for breakfast – two mistakes really because we got stuck in commuting traffic trying to find what probably doesn’t exist outside Paris, a French cafe open before 10am. So without accomplishing anything other than seeing a swirl of vehicles in the centre of Dijon (which didn’t seem very attractive anyway), we lost a half hour getting in and out. Eventually we found some functionally edible pastries and vending-machine coffee at a roadside rest-stop.
Beaune to Bielefeld-001

Three uneventful hours on the road through a much more populous zone of France around Nancy and Metz were concluded with a lunchtime stop at McDo’s just before the border. This would be the last place I could check my phone for messages. I’d entertained stopping in Luxembourg city for lunch but the gloriously sunny driving weather had turned to bouts of rain. Thus Gustav and Munson added Luxembourg to their list of visited countries only by virtue of spending twenty minutes in a car passing through its southeast corner.

As we entered Germany the weather deteriorated further, just as it had on this trip a year ago. Passing Cologne and Dortmund we finally reached Bielefeld about 5.30pm. When I planned this journey a few weeks ago, I aimed for somewhere in the Hanover-Göttingen area, and this city offered a cheap stopover at about the right distance along the trajectory to Sweden.

I felt even more wrecked after today’s journey so we didn’t get to see anything of the city outside of a five minute walk from our hotel to a Chinese take-away. At the very least we can say to German internet users that we are part of the Bielefeld conspiracy; a long running gag that the city doesn’t exist implicates anyone who claims to have visited the city.

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