Can it be something worse than waiting for hours in Stansted airport after you missed your flight while already in the airport for more than 4 hours? Optimistically speaking, yes, it is more than possible to think this way when you compare with my latest adventure, one week ago. The term of the comparison is the Eurolines station in Berlin where I headed to in the middle of the night for catching my bus to Wroclaw.
It started as spontaneously as possible, with me rushing to schedule a trip by bus to Wroclaw for a meeting. Not exactly the quiet travel to blog about it, but still an occasion to return to a city where a spent some sunny day two or three summers ago. Plus, I always wanted to go on a crosscountry bus trip and I was enthusted by the idea of such an opportunity. I made the reservation online, for quite a good price – compared with the usual high price of a trip within Germany. Arrival early in the morning, departure late in the evening for reaching Berlin at 2am. At the first sight it looked as an exhausting plan but there were plenty of opportunities to have a look around and write more posts and also to visit a couple of museums.
However, when I arrived at the Eurolines station, after saying my emotional ‘good bye’ to my dear ones as I was about to leave for at least one month instead of 24 hours, there was some incertitude in the air that I did not like it. The station looked empty, with some homelesses around and a very bored bureaucrat at the Information Center. I had a look at my ticket, and another one, and checked the date on my phone and realized that…no no no it is not possible…the ticket was for the next day. Went once again to the Information Center, asked him to tell me if everything is fine with my ticket, he said yes and I still had a hope that who knows, they will let me in. It meant 15 minutes of tension till the bus arrived. Run to the driver and with an innocent look I show my ticket. He took it and started to look after my name on the list. And did it one more time till he realized that I was wrong and said half-Polish, half-German that my ticket is for tomorrow and today there are no more places. ‘Maybe the next bus’ I was encouraged who was scheduled in the next 30 minutes. Let’s hope, I said, trying to calculate as fast as possible how to get out of the hopeless situation: I scheduled a date with people that will wait for me as there was no possibility to check their e-mails before joining in Wroclaw. Plus, how it is possible to explain in a reasonable way what I did?
45 minutes later, the new bus arrived, with one place left. The price was 61 Euro though, that compared with the 84 paid for both ways was not a very smart offer. And I left the desolate Eurolines station going back home to be greeted by my loved ones, a bit surprised to find out that my sense of good direction and planning faded away completely.
Before writing an inspired e-mail to my friends, I took a look at the Deutsche Bahn options and hopefully enough I found a train leaving the next day and arriving in Wroclaw around 4pm, just in time to greet my friends. Without second thoughts I made the reservation, still unsure about how I will return back to Berlin on Monday, at latest – with loads of work waiting for me, as the usual office hours from Sunday were out of question. The answer was to be found hours later when I was able to be in time at Hauptbahnof and I paid a visit at the Tickets Counter: a night train where I will sleep for 6 hours – one of the best sleep in weeks, without the bothering of the computer or reading priorities – and a relatively quiet return to Berlin, for around 60 Euro.
The evaluation of the days: I went to Wroclaw and spent some nice time there – the pictures and impressions in a next stop – I met my friends, spent some money, got some inspiration plus the good sleep, returned to Berlin and after 4 days I won over the writer’s block. Given the last mesiness, it will be kind to avoid offering travel tips for at least the next 100 years.
And, by the way, a next trip is scheduled the next week!!!