Today’s pictures on flickr

Quick morning / early afternoon synopsis: Breakfast, checked out of hotel, mailed Jeans home, picked up new spare tire, ate lunch.

After lunch, we got on our well-oiled bicyles and headed for the train station. That’s right, we’re cheating again. This time, rather than using a boat, we’re using the train. We found out that we cannot TGV to Paris, so our plan is to take the regional to Lille, check out Vimy Ridge, and then take the train in to Paris.

Our first train took us through Rotterdam to Antwerp without difficulty. The train is certainly a lot faster than the boat was! In Antwerp we had to wrestle our fully loaded bicycles down a flight of stairs and back up another, and then lift them quite high into the bicyle compartment behind the first class section. We did that, but then we were informed that we did it at the wrong first class compartment: the train was going to split in half before France, and we were on the wrong half. But rather than delay the train in France, the conductor offered to help us do so at a later station. He was a very cheerful conductor, cracking jokes and smiling. He would have fit in well at Westjet.

We got to Lille to find the town all done up funky. I’m not sure what’s going on, you’ll have to check the pictures. Tonight we’ll be staying at the hostel.