So let me start from the beginning.
My flight got cancelled.
Flight to where you might ask?
To the UK my good man.
Try to keep up!
Anyway, I booked myself to the UK because …
I’ll tell you some other time.
I found myself going to Cologne / Köln.
On a Thursday night.
I had no plans to go to Cologne / Köln.
Or any other time!
Besides, I was supposed to be flying to England!
Three Fridays ago, to be exact!
I had booked with KLM since January, but a few weeks ago, they cancelled my flight!
I’ll book another!
So I booked another flight.
That got cancelled too!
Like the Tuesday – three (3) days before I was supposed to fly out!
It didn’t leave me with many options, so I decided to go by train.
With a “real” ticket!
Please remember what I said above, for later in the post …
The price for this last-minute unaccounted-for-journey – €442 via Deutsch Bahn on a one-way first class train or €285 on a second class one-way train!
Far too dear!
And just like any sane person would, I thought sod it, I’ll travel by other means!
I would book a train from Germany to Belgium, with a connection via Cologne / Köln (first class), then take a train from Cologne / Köln to Brussels (also first class), a Flixbus from Brussels to London Victoria (paying for two seats instead of one), and finally a National Express coach / bus from London Victoria to Bristol (premium seating) instead!
The (new) price –
Ha! Ha! Ha!
I left Berlin on Thursday.
And arrived in Cologne / Köln in the early hours.
I was tired but quite relaxed.
Until the connecting train to Belgium.
Flixbus is cheap and breezy.
But they aren’t likely to wait!
It’s been years since I’ve done Europe – UK by road, and many things have changed!
I’ve only gone above the water, by ship!
Once we got to the French Border, we all had to disembark and take EVERYTHING off the bus!
Let’s do that.
We did that, then we all hopped back on the bus.
Five (5) minutes later, we reached the UK Border, and we all had to dismount and take EVERYTHING off the bus again!
Thankfully, everyone had their documents and passports in order, and we didn’t lose anyone!
Once that was sorted, we drove into these train-like wagons, and off we went.
There was quite a lot of swaying and jolting in the heat, and a few of us began to feel a little queasy!
There’s no where to go really, so some of us stood under the air shafts and hung around reading!
Some random car hit the side of our bus!
Thankfully, nobody was injured but that “small accident” caused one of the mirrors to be destroyed / fall off / break / I’m not really sure, as there was a bit of confusion!
Meanwhile, insurance info was exchanged, and the car driver went on his merry way.
However, we couldn’t!
The driver didn’t really know what to do.
No “real” information was forthcoming.
There were lots of frantic phone calls.
Then the police were called.
This bus has to park on the grassy mode and is going nowhere!
And we were so close too!
We were in Bexleyheath.
On the edge of Kent.
Otherwise known as Greater London!
With 80+ people on the bus, nobody really knew what to do.
So after a couple of hours waiting for the replacement bus, I booked a taxi out of there to London Victoria!
Obviously, I had missed my connection!
Luckily, I had the foresight to upgrade my transport from London Victoria to Bristol, via National Express just in case, so I was able to take the next available coach (bus), without paying even more.
I got to London Victoria Coach / Bus Station at 21:15 and was able to leave 15 minutes later!
It’s been an exhausting journey, and I have no idea how the outcome will be coming back, but wish me luck, that my return journey will run smoothly!
See you in Germany!
For the UK’s official tourism website, Click Here!
For easyJet, Click Here!
For FlixBus, Click Here!
For National Express (UK), Click Here!
For Eurotunnel, Click Here!
For Eurostar’s official website (rw/rest of the world), Click Here!
What more do you need to know?
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