It's a good job I don't believe in fate, you could seriously begin to believe this tour wasn't meant to be!

Luton was in the aftermath of the most recent bomb plot and, despite being over two hours early to check-in, I only just manage to catch the plane.

Check-in was a nightmare and passport control was even worse, the strategy seemed to be for everyone to stand in a huge, stationary queue until panicked officials insisted that those whose flight was about to depart go to the front of the line. In the melee I managed to leave my trusty Altura rainproof jacket behind.

On arriving in Basel-Mulhouse I was not really surprised to find that my bike was not on the same plane as me and the rest of the luggage. I just had to hope that it stayed on the ground and would be along later rather being sent elsewhere.

I registered the bike as missing with Swissport and arranged for it to be sent to the Youth Hostel in Freiberg that I had intended to cycle to, should it turn up on the later flight. The people at Swissport had some extremely disparaging views on Easyjet and I don't think either of us really expected the bike would turn up later.

At least catching the Airport Bus to Freiberg would afford some time searching for a replacement jacket, but even that wasn't as easy as expected. It seems Bike shops in Germany don't normally stock clothing and, in the end, I had to settle for a '100% rain proof' jacket from a department store.

Of course the bike didn't turn up on the next flight and the best hope was now a midday arrival the following day. It was going to require an early start to get the bus to the Airport with no guarantee the bike would actually be there and, even if the bike did arrive, there was no way the tour could start from Freiberg. My plan to cycle Europe north to south was now going to have a 100KM hole in the middle.

The next morning I was very glad of effort made to secure a replacement waterproof jacket, the weather had taken a serious turn for the worse and I got soaked just getting back to the bus station.

Thankfully the trip was not in vain and, by the time I got to the Airport, the bike had arrived safely. The extremely helpful Swissport people could not believe I was intending to cycle to Daschen from the Airport; "but you will get wet!" was the rather incredulous reply.

They were right! (and then some)

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Bagged Bike