A Travellerspoint blog

Short week

long commute

Decided that as the plane was a little expensive I'd give the train a go

WRONG

The journey from Worle to Bristol was on time and uneventful which gave no indication of the hassle to come

Again the train at BTM was on time but 5 minutes in and there was an announcement that there was a delay at Bath Spa due to engineering works, which I thought no problem I've got 4 hours to get to St Pancras for the Eurostar.

Got about 2 miles from the station and we sat there for 30 minutes, again thought no problem I've still got 3 and a half hours to get to St Pancras, off we went and 10 minutes later another announcement the engineering works at Bath had backed up several trains and we would have to wait in a queue to get into Chippenham, so sat again for 15 minutes outside the station and off we went again, got to Reading and guess what - yep another announcement "sorry but because of engineering works ant Bath we are in another queue" and another 10 or 15 minutes wait, which meant by the time I got into Paddington I had an hour to get to the Eurostar, which should have been about 15 minutes away.

As I was having one of those days, I stood on the platform expecting the next tube in a couple of minutes or so, but after waiting for about 30 minutes there was an anouncement (because I haven't had enough of those today) that the Central line was closed due to signal failure and had to get to the Metropolitan line so I could get to St Pancras.

The upshot to all those delays was I ended up 10 minutes late for my train to Brussels, and my ticket was denied at the turnstile, there was nobody around to ask what to do so trundled off to the ticket office to get answers.

Told the guy what had happened and he just said "no problem I'll book you on the next train", which was just over an hour later.

Great so now I'm on the train an hour late but so what I'm still due in Antwerp around 21:00pm
Eurostar-e320-side.jpg
Wrong again - the journey I'd booked was from London to Antwerp as it said on my ticket but when we got into Brussels the train terminated there.

Thought "&%$£$£"%^" what now, again nobody about to ask where I had to go so walked around the station which as you can imagine being an international one is bloody huge - finally found a sign with an "Information" symbol though great so off I go, found the little booth wit a queue of about 3 people so waited patiently at the back, the woman at the front was obviously on one as she was shouting and almost crying in dutch, I gathered her ticket was incorrect and she wasn't backing down, after about 15 minutes and a headache later I got to the information guy and asked how I get to Antwerp with the ticket I had, he said the next train was just about to leave from platform 19, he said if I was quick I could make it.

Anyway me quick no on your nelly but had a go jogging up escalators and along a long platform, dived onto the train with 10 seconds to go until it was due to leave seating and out of breath, but feeling proud I'd legged it so far - guess what the bloody train was 10 minutes late leaving.

brusselsmidi.jpg

Antwerp was an hour away and the carriage I was in had a couple with a baby that literally screamed and screamed constantly for the whole journey.

Finally at Antwerp, and a Short bus ride to the apartment, the bus came at 10:45pm local time and I checked Google Maps on my phone to see what stop I had to get off as I'd only done the journey once before, but after a long day my phone had no battery left, so I thought I know sort of where to get off so I'll ring the bell as son as I see somewhere I recognise.

I remember it only being about 4 or 5 stops last time, but that was about 6pm and the bus was full up with people getting off and on at every stop, this bus had me and an old woman and me. The bus seemed to go a very long was between stops and after about 10 minutes I asked the driver if we were near the Borgerout Collegalan stop he smiled and said that was 5 minutes ago, so had to get off and walk back to the apartment.

Just after 11:15pm got to apartment about as knackered as I could get, and though my 80 minute journey via two buses at 7am in the morning was something to look forward to.

hashtagLOVINGBELGIUM

Posted by Eurochunks 10:20 Archived in Belgium

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