Day 7 was a long travel day.
* If you wanted to see pictures from day 6 (Claridges and the Science Museum) they are now posted on the day 6 post.
I started on the Ferry crossing between Dover and Calais. Seeing Dover lit up at night was very pretty, and you could see some of the white cliffs, which was nice.
The crowd on the night ferry was an interesting one, and made for great people watching. Because the ferry is on international waters, they could sell items duty free – so there were plenty of folks stocking up. The crossing took about 2 hours, and then we boarded the bus to roll on off and continue the journey. I slept a bit at this point on the bus, and was thankful that the guy that had been sitting next to me found a new friend to sit with and I am sure share more drinks, So I was able to sleep without as much interruption.
It quickly became clear to me that with the planned stop in Ghent I was not going to arrive in Brussels in time to catch my early train to Vienna, but at that point the bus wifi was no longer working – so I was just going to have to figure it out in Brussels.
In Brussels, I had my first moments of “language shock” as I figured out what things meant on the station signs. I was able t decipher, and headed on the next train to Brussels Noord, because I knew that was the station that the trips to Frankfurt (which would take me to Austria) would depart from. Once I got to Noord (at around 7:30) I realized that the next train I would be able to catch wasn’t until 10:30, which would but me in Vienna about 9:30 – so only about 4 hours behind schedule. I sent Jackalie a message that I would be late, then had some time to kill in the Train station. I found a small deli/shop with wifi (and a place to charge my phone) and had a croissant and coffee and just hung out there for a bit then boarded the train.
I cannot say enough about the train – it was comfortable, and because I am older than 26 I had to purchase the 1st class rail pass, so it was really almost luxurious. The seats reclined, had pillows, and I had plenty of room. I had to change to another ICE train in Frankfurt, so I used that opportunity to get some refreshments and a small picnic for the remaining long journey.
The scenery on the train was fantastic!
After that, I dozed off, read and walked around the train. All in all not a bad way to travel, and upon my arrival in Vienna both Jackalie and Andy met me at the train station – I enjoyed their overview of the transport system and catching up with them as we ventured to their WONDERFUL flat. I was able to take a nice shower after 24 hours of travel and then just enjoyed catching up with them both.
As of today I have traveled approximately 5,332 miles on airplanes, trains, ferries and buses! 🙂
I went to bed without writing the blog post, and slept in a bit, and now I am off to explore Vienna.