Cordes-sur-Ciel to Toulouse by train (SNCF TER)
Cordes (-Vindrac) train station is about 5 km outside the historic village. Thankfully, my hosts, Kathy and Bob, picked me up from Borie Grande in the early morning and dropped me at the station.
Regional train service TER Midi-Pyrenées offers a special tariff on selected trains. With tikémouv the ticket to Toulouse was just 5 euros instead of the usual 14.50 euros.
From Matabiau central station I opted for the airport shuttle (navette) run by local pub trans operator Tisseo. At 5.50 euros it is a lot more expensive than the single ticket. However, simplicity and a short 20-minute ride make it worthwhile.
Toulouse to Hamburg by Flugzeug (Germanwings)
After some research, I found that the Germanwings’ flight to Hamburg offered the best connection (in terms of duration of travel and cost) towards Berlin. Thank you, Airbus!
I went for the 22 euros more expensive “smart” option. At a total cost of 121 euros, I was allowed to check in one piece of luggage, choose seat 1A with extra leg room and received a lunch package consisting of a sandwich, a chocolate bar, a bottle of water and another nonalcoholic drink.
Check-in and flight went by without any incident. After little more than two hours I touched down in Germany.
From Hamburg airport, I took the S1 train to the city center. A single ticket is 3.10 euros.
Hamburg to Berlin by Bus (MeinFernbus FlixBus)
The bus station (ZOB) is only a few steps from Hamburg’s central train station (Hauptbahnhof). GoEuro had suggested MeinFernbus Flixbus as a budget alternative to the Deutsche Bahn train — at 8 euros compared to 19 on the train.
But since I didn’t feel like waiting for the next bus I bought an 11 euro ticket which meant I was leaving for my hometown only five minutes later.
The situation at the counter was a bit tense as a bus had to be canceled and 30 upset customers were waiting impatiently to be booked on other busses. I also had to put the backpack, which only hours before had counted as hand luggage on the flight, underneath. Luckily I always carry a small extra bag so that I could quickly repack my valuables. Afterwards, things went smoothly. The driver was in a good mood. The free WiFi was working fine (only YouTube was barred).
Ten and a half hours after leaving Saint-Marcel-Campes I arrived relaxed but hungry in Berlin.