As you do when one travels on a strict budget you look for ways to save money where you can. One option I chose last night was to opt out of an expensive flight to Hamburg in Germany and take the Eurolines bus from Brussels to the fine and dandy German city.
My 9 hour overnight journey began in a shady bus station at the top end of Brussels, 11:15 pm mind. The lighting was poor, security and safety of passengers were obviously not on the priority list and pick pockets beware signs were everywhere! Got to love this super cheap method of travel.
There were no staff to direct people onto the right buses which, for me made it fun trying to break down language barriers with other travellers and bus drivers who spoke broken English. One of the main reasons I travel like this is not just to save money but to experience a more interesting side to cities you otherwise fail to get when travelling in comfort.
The journey started fine before we hit the open roads of the Netherlands. It was soon after this point where we were intercepted by Dutch traffic Police and customs officers. This is where it got exciting.
As the passport and I.D checks got underway it soon became apparent that six men from Afghanistan were en route to Oslo with no formal I.D on any of them. Following heated debate between all parties involved the men were removed from the bus in cuffs by Police and lumped into the back of a van to somewhere that was most likely not going to be very nice.
So, now this little hiccup was cleared up onwards we went and time to sleep. Or so I thought.
Sitting smack bang in the middle of the bus was the worlds loudest snorer! I am most certain this fellow could have been heard in London as we stretched our way to northern Germany. Sadly for the rest of us on board no sleep was enjoyed. Not that you can enjoy sleep on the night buses mind.
Around half 8 this morning I arrived in down town Hamburg, hungry and stinky from not having a shower in nigh on 72 hours yet happy to be exploring another city in Europe for the first time. I have begun to develop a most exciting beard from not shaving in a week. I kind of like it!
Some say that you can’t enjoy travel on the cheap. For me it is often the only way to go. How else would you enjoy these sorts of exciting adventures?