Today I headed southeast from Oxford towards London, around London and finally to Folkestone Eurotunnel Terminal. I had a one hour buffer for the 2:20h journey, which proved to be sufficient - I only lost half an hour to traffic. I also had the questionable pleasure of nearly witnessing a lorry tire blowout. It happened about a mile in front of me. Luckily traffic was rather dense so the cars in front of me suddenly breaking from 110 kph to 50 kph was a sufficient warning. I would not have wanted to crash into the remains of the tire in the middle of the Motorway!
At Folkestone Terminal my train was subject to delay due to unexpected capacity restrictions. Yeah. Unexpected just like the day before, eh? The final delay was about 75 minutes. I wonder if EU passenger rights also cover this train, although I doubt it. Also, in the half of the carriage I was staying in with my bike the air-conditioning was out of order. Half into the journey the conductor relieved us in two ways: He brought each of us bikers a free bottle of cool water and told us to simply move 15 metres further back in the carriage. In fact just in the middle of the carriage there was a wall of air. One moment it was hot and unbearable, the next it was fresh and cool. Had we just known that from the start.
My conclusion from the Eurotunnel experience: the ride itself is quite fast, the procedure on arrival is mindbogglingly simple: you just drive of the train, along a few ramps and you find yourself directly on a French Motorway. However Folkestone Terminal left me underwhelmed: Motorbike parking is a joke, you just get stuffed somewhere where cars couldn't park anyway. No sitting opportunities and no shade in sight - that is really a shame. Why do they have the money to put a dozen different chargers for electric cars on their carpark but can't spend some hundred thousand quid to create a decent parking experience for motorbikes? It doesn't have to be that expensive in fact. Just put up a portable tent and some portable benches which you can get at your nearest hardware store for just 100£ total... Also, the food stalls in the terminal impressed mostly by the length of their queues.
Current I am residing in Bruges. Tomorrow I will spent the day in the city, probably taking a boat tour and visiting the Belfort (prices have doubled since In Bruges, now it is 10 €).
The weather forecast for Sunday across western Europe is hot. Temperatures in Bielefeld are supposed to go above 30°C in the afternoon. The trip to Bielefeld is four and a half hours. To avoid the high temperatures and probably some traffic as well, I currently plan to leave Bruges early on Sunday, probably sometime around 7 am, if not earlier.