The Anonymous Widower

Customer Support From Eurostar

On Saturday, I felt I got exceptional service from Eurostar on the last leg home from Budapest. So I told them!

I recently travelled back from Paris after arriving in the city on Saturday the 13th on the sleeper from Munich.

I hadn’t eaten for about 36 hours, as I couldn’t find any gluten-free food, in the Munich area of Germany.

However, once on the train to London, your gluten free light lunch that I had ordered filled part of the hole.I hope in my hungry state, I didn’t get on your excellent staffs’ nerves.

Ninety minutes after sending the e-mail, I got a reply.

Deepest condolences regarding your losses and the health issues you had, we are happy that you still found the strength to enjoy life. We at Eurostar are pleased that you enjoy this with us and we want to thank you for choosing us. I am sure that our on board staff were happy to help.

I am extremely disappointed to hear that gluten free meals are not obtainable with Deutsche Bahn as this is not an uncommon food request.

I hope your nest trip to Palermo will be a relaxing journey and without the need of being hungry.

You can’t fault the speed of reply and the message.

April 17, 2013 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

I Missed The Match

I didn’t get to the match at Ipswich on Saturday, as although the Eurostar was on time in London, by the time I got home, it was too late to get a train to the start of the match.

The delays hadn’t been serious, but I wasted ten or fifteen minutes because of a broken Cashpoint, queues at WH Smith for my paper and then no taxis at Kings Cross. I then had to take the Victoria line to Highbury and Islington station and I waited another ten minutes for a bus to get home.

Of course, if they had left luggage lockers, at any of the stations, like St. Pancras, Kings Cross, Liverpool Street or Ipswich, I could have quickly dumped my case and got to the match on time.

But as Ipswich Town lost, I wasn’t too bothered by the evening.

April 16, 2013 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Food At Last

It was a short walk from the Gare de Paris Est station to the Gare du Nord and the 11:07 Eurostar for London.

I made it easily and an hour or so later, I was having lunch.

DSCN1744

Food At Last

It was actually tofu, which I’ve never had before.  But it was good to have a meal I could trust. The tea was very good too.

What I always think, is why if Eurostar can do gluten free food so well, why can’t other train companies?

April 16, 2013 Posted by | Food, Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Final Insult From Germany

The only thing, I consumed on the train was water, Coke and an orange juice in the morning. But others were luckier!

The Final Insult From Germany

The Final Insult From Germany

The muffin could have been nice. The notes say the following.

Contains colouring. Contains antioxidant. Contains preservatives. With presevative, curing salt. Contains sweetener. Contains caffeine.

Nothing at all is said about gluten.

I suppose gluten is compulsory in Germany!

April 16, 2013 Posted by | Food, Travel | , , , | 5 Comments

The Sleeper From Munich To Paris

It takes over ten hours, but as I wanted to be back in London in time to get to Ipswich for the Hull game on Saturday, it was the only way I could do it.

I had booked the sleeper on Deutsche Bahn’s excellent web site at bahn.de. I had a self-printed paper ticket, that worked well. These are some of the pictures I took on the journey.

We arrived in Paris on time at 09:30.  I had slept reasonably well.

April 16, 2013 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Problems Of Eating On The Move For A Coeliac In Germany

Just because I’m a coeliac, it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to eat gluten-free food on the move.

In the UK, there are a lot of options.

I can get gluten-free bars like EatNakd or Eat Natural in many places.

At stations, there is usually a good choice at Marks and Spencer of various snacks, which often include sandwiches.

There is also the coffee chains, like Starbucks, where I can usually find a bite of something.

And on top of that most pubs can probably rustle up something to go with half of decent cider or a glass of wine.

But in Germany, I found little to eat on the move.

As I returned from Ulm, I was very hungry, as I hadn’t eaten since breakfast. But there was nothing obvious at the station.  So I looked at this vending machine.

Vending Machine At Ulm Station

Vending Machine At Ulm Station

I got a bag of crisps, which at least said they were glutenfrei.

Note though there is only one flavour in the machine and they were paprika.  But I was so hungry, that I ate three packets.

Back in Munich, I had time to kill, as the sleeper to Paris didn’t leave until 22:50.

I should have done the sensible thing and go to the pizza restaurant, but I thought that I’d find something. I did and it was this salad.

A Revolting Salad At Munich Station

A Revolting Salad At Munich Station

It was one of the most revolting I’ve ever tried to eat. Especially, as the only implements were my fingers. The picture doesn’t really do justice to the salad and especially the cheese and ham mixture on the top.  Alternative layers of revolting cheese and ham had been sandwiched together and sliced up.  In the end I gave up and put it in a bin.

I should have been entitled as I was on a First Class sleeper, to use of the DB Lounge. But after installing myself there at about 20:50, I was promptly turfed out, as it shuts at 21:00.  So I was left to fend for myself in the cold for nearly two hours.

Incidentally, I could have gone back to the hotel and its warm bar, but there had been an altercation in the subway linking the station to the city centre, so I had to stay put.

It was then, that I met half a dozen Watford supporters on a stag do. They were trying to buy a sausage without bread from a fast food stall and not getting much joy, as apparently, it was against the rules. They were just getting fed up with their restricted diet of beer, bread and sausage.

I had been in Germany for two days, and I’d never found anything acceptable to eat on the move.

If it hadn’t been for the wonderful pizza, I might have starved. I can’t live by coffee with two sugars alone.

I think the rule is you must plan, where you are going to eat. Germany doesn’t seem to be like the UK, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium and France.

On the other hand, I tried to plan at Ulm and that didn’t work out! Years ago, I didn’t plan in Berlin, but the hotel was good and sorted out two of the best gluten-free restaurants I ever went to with C.

April 16, 2013 Posted by | Food, Travel | , , , | 6 Comments

Ulm Rathaus

Often in Germany, the town hall or Rathaus is the second best building after the cathedral.

As you can see the Rathaus in Ulm is no exception.

April 16, 2013 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

A Charming Statue

I found this in the back streets of Ulm.

It’s such a simple idea for a fountain and sculpture, I’m surprised I’ve not seen something similar before.

April 16, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Ulm Minster

Ulm Minster is the tallest church in the world and the spire dominates the city.

I effectively walked in a circle round the city and was never out of sight of the Minster.

April 16, 2013 Posted by | Travel, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Two Gordon Setters In Germany

C and I have had several setters and the only one, we never owned was a Gordon Setter.

They are now quite rare in the UK and I’ve not seen one for some time.

So I was surprised to see two very friendly ones in Germany.

The puppy was only ten weeks old.

April 16, 2013 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment