The train races through the flat Kent countryside; I clock its speed at an eyeball-smooshing 186mph at one point. The morning is pastel coloured, with mist still creeping its way across the fields.

We'll enter the channel tunnel in a few minutes. It's funny to think that the first attempts at building a rail tunnel between England and France were in the late 1800s, around the same time that St Pancras station was built (though the idea went back even further, to the beginning of that century). It wasn't until 1994 that the current channel tunnel was completed though, the first attempt having been aborted, partly out of concerns of it being difficult to defend from invaders. It just shows how different Europe is now, that it's possible to build such a tunnel.

Anyway, see you on the other side!

The statue of John Betjeman with a Eurostar behind it

The sun is quickly rising over London and St Pancras International is very much awake, bustling with people.

The first time I came here in 2007 was a bit of an anticlimax; it had been opened to great fanfare a few weeks before, but it was really barely ready. The floors were still dusty from the building work and the Eurostar departures area was dark and rather featureless.

I have to say it's improved since then, even if what they claimed to be Europe's longest champagne bar is actually a rather uninteresting little hut (sure, there are tables laid out for a long way alongside - but not accessible from - the Eurostar platforms, but the bar itself seems rather ordinary). Can't say I'm much of a champagne bar person anyway.

Still, the journey to Berlin begins...they've just called the train up for boarding, so I'd better dash!

It's been a long couple of days...

The beginning of the journey is just a few hours away, yet questions of "are you packed yet?" are likely to be met with an exasperated "not yet" from me. Having dragged equipment round for concerts and video shoots the past couple days, I have to say the first thing on my mind is spending some hard earned quiet time with a cup of tea.

Still, the site is all up and running and I'm looking forward to putting all the technology to the test tomorrow. With any luck, you'll be hearing from me again sometime after 7 tomorrow morning, from London St Pancras, the first point of the journey. I'll then try and post at fairly regular intervals along the way, keeping the GPS trace on the map updated at the same time (it should appear as a red wiggly line). See you all then!

What are you going to be doing on November 7th? How about coming on a virtual journey across Europe with me?

With the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall this year, Berlin's history is coming increasingly into the public eye at the moment.

This site will document my progress as I make the 700 mile journey across France, Belgium and Germany to Berlin by train in November this year. The map at the top of this page will be updated along with this blog along the way, adding pins to the map to show you where I'm posting from, so you should be able to see how far I've got!

When I get to Berlin, regular updates here will give you a virtual look around the city, with photos, descriptions, facts and perhaps even a few multimedia surprises!

Richard

Pages

Subscribe to Front page feed

Follow @journeytoberlin on Twitter!

  • It seems when the vending machines steal your money, the only way to get it back is by ringing a number that doesn't work. 1 week 6 days ago
  • Catching a book title out the corner of my eye, I read "Nixon's Nuclear Sphincter". Specter. It was specter. I blame American spellings. 1 month 2 days ago
  • RT : Deutsch ist wirklich eine verdammt schwere Sprache. Tagsüber: Der Weizen Das Korn Abends: Das Weizen Der Korn 1 month 1 week ago
  • A day of fun on the water for €7*...I'd call that a bargain! (*ice cream not included) https://t.co/YUR11WyspW https://t.co/750ysFPEW7 1 month 1 week ago
  • For anyone suffering politics overload...bunnies! They're hopping around the Hansaviertel if you want to pay them a… https://t.co/m9BiruceSt 1 month 2 weeks ago
  • The Otto Bartning exhibition is great if you like architecture and understand German - https://t.co/GIg28Wy3H0 - closes on 18th! 1 month 2 weeks ago
  • Must say that have done a great job with Café Kranzler - really nice chilled out space for watching… https://t.co/Q1QxpsYoJe 1 month 2 weeks ago
  • Not all Beelitz residents are interested in asparagus... https://t.co/cQoyptodrJ 1 month 2 weeks ago
  • It's a lovely sunny day in Beelitz! This Spargelpfanne with white & green asparagus, tomatoes and penne is the perf… https://t.co/7LoWqyBk2P 1 month 2 weeks ago
  • RT : Tried some good Ghanaian, Gambian and Egyptian food at Berlin's African Food Festival today. https://t.co/W70cliVoEY 2 months 6 days ago