I thought it would be a good idea to bring in some posts I wrote for my previous, Swedish blog, so I’ve chosen to do a ‘Throwback Thursday’ theme. Every Thursday you will be reading a post of what I’ve been up to in the past. The first one will be my bus trip from Leeds to Halmstad.
When I was in London the other day I got reminded about this trip as I once again got to visit Victoria Coach Station. Back in 2012 I thought it would be a great idea to get the bus home to Sweden instead of getting a flight. The flights were too expensive and I had a lot of time on my hands working as a teacher and having summer holidays.
I had no idea this trip would be one of the worst in my life. I guess it’s my own fault but at the time I saw it as a fun and different experience and with a challenge to take one photo every hour of different objects it seemed an even better idea.
In total it took me 39 hours and of those I only had about 5 hours of sleep, I drank 2 litres of water and only went to the toilet 4 times (I hate toilets on buses). I’ll never do this again!!!
Leeds – London
We had a quick stop in Milton Keynes where the bus driver informed us that we needed to take a longer route in London to get to the bus station, due to the ongoing Olympic Games. I believe we were driving around for about an hour and a half before we finally reached the station. The whole trip was pleasant and went quick. There were hardly any passengers and more importantly, no screaming babies or kids.
Victoria Station doesn’t feel like a normal bus station, it’s very international with a lot of people travelling to and from the whole world. I thankfully remembered to pack my passport last minute and luckily so as I had to check in in order to travel across the borders. The bus onwards was delayed by 20 minutes as the bus driver hadn’t been informed the Olympic Games were taken place and that he had to go on different streets to access the station.
I had time to sit down and listen to some music but I couldn’t concentrate enough to read as I knew this delay would mean I’d only have 30 minutes before the next bus in Brussels. time ticked away and after 2.5 hours later than predicted we were finally setting off. At this point I couldn’t do much more than laugh as the check in staff thought I should have been checked in on the bus to Berlin instead. Thankfully they called the bus in Brussels and asked them to wait for me.
London – Brussels
This bus had a Czech registration number, nice interior and extra leg room. Once again, hardly any passengers travelling. There was one family with two little cross eyed boys, so much they were really cute. They cried for most of the trip which must be really annoying and difficult for the parents. Leaving London I saw a lot of nice landscape and plenty as also leaving took a long time. I had some cheese crackers for snacks and later a sandwich with ham and mustard.
We reached Dover to get the train through the tunnel. I was excited to begin with but after waiting for a long time to get through the passport control I quickly lost my enthusiasm. The three Mexican teenagers, great looking passports by the way, that were on the bus to start with weren’t to be seen again. The tunnel wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped for. It was narrow, dark and very rocky.
In Calais I can’t say anything else than that France is very beautiful. I managed to get a bit of sleep now and again. We quickly stopped in gent to let some more passengers on. Luckily the bus driver was able to catch up on some missed out time so I did make it in time for the bus from Brussels. It was a very quick bus change and this was full of people. I tried to get some sleep as I knew it wouldn’t stop until I was safe in Copenhagen.
Brussels – Copenhagen
We stopped in the middle of the night, after 2.5 hours of traffic jam caused by a serious car accident somewhere on the autobahn. For once I got a chance to visit a proper toilet and ceased it. I took a picture of a lovely morning view somewhere in Germany.
Not long after the break we had to pull in to the side of the road, one of the tires had busted. The driver drove like a lunatic and that’s what happens due to it. I had no idea it could take forever to change a bus tyre but apparently it does. I tried to drink some water, just enough to keep fresh but not enough to having to pay a visit at the toilets.
The bus was full so I had to share seats with a very tired woman, she slept most of the time but still made sure to wiggle her toes now and again. We once again had a break and I got a chance to stretch my legs and east some breakfast: boiled egg and a banana.
Around midnight one of the girls on the bus said we should have reached Bremen after 2-3 hours after leaving Brussels. We didn’t arrive until 11 am the following day. That’s how long the stops were.
In Hamburg we got kicked off the bus and asked to get a taxi for the rest of the journey. There were more than six of us left so we had to order a second one on our own. I managed to get in the first one with two Americans, two Danes and a fellow Swede. A calm trip awaited us and I was able to get some more sleep. We took the ferry between Germany and Denmark and we quickly reached Copenhagen.
Copenhagen – Halmstad
Finally in Copenhagen me and the Swedish guy were meant to have caught our connection bus but we had missed it by 4 hours. The taxi driver was only informed to take us no further than Copenhagen so he left without looking back. The bus station had closed so we had nothing to do but hope.
We were really lucky that a bus arrived and was on it’s way to Gothenburg. The nice bus driver, an older man, let us on and because he saw how tired we were he din’t bother to look at our tickets. I was able to catch a ride all the way to Halmstad, my final destination, instead of being dropped off in Helsingborg.
With the views of Lund’s station I could feel the end of the trip was close. The sun down was really beautiful and I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see Swedish land before. The blurred picture of Trade Centre in Halmstad represents how my head felt after the 39 hour long journey.