Getting out of the train wasn’t easy this morning. Actually, getting all our stuff together to get out of the train was even more difficult. I was convinced that our bags, especially the small ones, had multiplied over night. There were just no more hooks anywhere to hang them, no more fingers to carry them.

Yesterday evening was one of the nicest evenings for Pádraig, I think, when a couple of the young helpers spend a few hours with him talking and helping him with his food. Not everybody is religious, never mind up for a pilgrimage to Lourdes on a train with sick and injured people — they were and they really made such a difference not just to the trip but to how I see what’s going on in the world. Like Pádraig’s friends back home, these young people really make me feel good about things to come, because they are the future and they are going to make sure that it’s going to be good.

When we were standing on the platform and we said good-bye to all the people on the train, old and new friends, we really felt that this week was now over. It had been a very special week, pretty intense in many ways, loads of new unexpected and pleasant experiences, good conversations, tons of forward-looking positive thoughts.  This includes our really unexpected bath in Lourdes with one of our good friends, as well as the unexpected turning up of our broken bag for the third time (because some caring person had thought that we had ‘left it behind’ unintentionally – when we had tried to throw it out:).

We also realised that not only Pforzheim central rail station, but also its Dusseldorf sister station, don’t have trolleys anymore. We just about managed to carry everything from the platform where we had arrived to the platform from where the regional train was leaving for the airport. At the airport, we got a good day rate in a hotel and are just about getting ready to head for the check-in after a good rest.