From London to Paris 10 hours in coach
Easter Sunday night and I’m pulling an all-nighter, well, sort of. It’s 1:13 a.m. and I’m not sure if I should be tired or awake; you know the zone when you don’t want to sleep but you need to, or perhaps you do want to sleep but can’t. That’s the battle of overnight Megabusing it. But I enjoy it because I, like my Netflix go-to, President Frank Underwood, “have always loathed the necessity of sleep.” When I was younger I never wanted to go to sleep and even now in my late twenties (when did that happen!) I much prefer the excitement of life and the joy of the day to anything that sleep could offer me. Don’t get me wrong though, I do like sleep, I just don’t like having to succumb to it. And trust me, when I’m out, I’m out; I once slept through a fire drill.
Our Paris-bound bus embarked about 5 hours ago, at 8 p.m., and our arrival in Paris is said to be 6 a.m. So far (I think) I’ve managed to sleep about an hour. Full discretion: I only got about 5 hours of sleep last night. I started a House season finale episode, “Euphoria,” and only made it through part one of two. So I should be more tired than I am but my mind is full of the London day behind me and the possibilities of playing in Paris today.
I’m like a vampire without the blood and these are my people curled up on either side of the aisle desperately trying to doze off. You can all us crazy but I’m never going to be as young as I am now. I’m in my prime. And it sure beats the Eurostar train prices and even the RyanAir flights.
1:29 a.m.: The rain is coming down hard now. I hear the footsteps of raindrops running on the window to my left. I hear the low howl of the bus engines as they push us, a passenger flock of 45, to our destination. Already we have cleared customs which was surpassingly way more smoother this way, going from Dover (UK) to Calaris (France) than from Calaris to Dover. Another stamp in my book, another country to revisit.
2:00 a.m.: Sometimes the bus driver makes announcements in French and English, sometimes only French. This time I lucked out and he told us that it was time to board the ferry, which means everyone off for about two hours. I’m one of the first ones off the bus and head to a little table in the cafeteria area. I pull out Dracula which I highly recommend while traveling through Europe because it mentions many countries. To my surprise in a Dr. Seward’s Diary entry, about fifty pages in, he even mentions the shores of Lake Titicaca, which I’ve been to in my homeland of Bolivia.
4:00 a.m.: I’m off the ferry and back on land as our journey is nearly done. I’m off to sleep again…
5:50 a.m.: Arrival time, 10 minutes early and I woke up twenty minutes ago. I did it! I’m not too tired to get myself to Quincy station for the Metro Line 2 that will take me to Anvers, steps from my hostel.
6:15 a.m.: Since we arrive early, it’s still quite dark out and I figure I’ll wait at the bus stop where there are a ton of people and it’s well lit before venturing outside to the subway. I end up dozing off for about 20 minutes and leave around 6:45 a.m. to head north.
7:30 a.m.: I’m close to my hostel and set off in search for a supermarket, I find a market, which according to their sign they open at 8 a.m. daily., I start taking a few laps around the intersection to keep the blood going to my feet.
8:00 a.m.: I’ve spotted another girl who appears to be waiting for them to open. Time to breakout Dracula again in the median park.
8:15 a.m.: They they don’t up on-time, ouch.
8:45 a.m.: They definitely don’t open on time and here comes the rain (of course!).
9:15 a.m.: There’s a crowd of a half a dozen or so waiting for them to open their doors.
9:35 a.m.: The store is finally open and I take my time gathering my staples, a large container of tomatoes (2 E), a dozen eggs (1.17 E), cheese (1.69 E), pita bread (1.59 E) and some multivitamin fruit juice (1.07 E).
10:30 a.m.: I’ve checked into my hostel and I’m busy on my Macbook for the next few hours.
1:30 p.m. Just got into my room, it’s been a long ride and I’m off to nap with this stunning view:
Thinking about taking the Megabus (Flixbus, Baltour, Italiabus)? Do it! It’s cheaper and you can spend time catching up on your work with reliable wifi. Remember: it’s always best to travel as light as possible, as I am not one who likes to leave their luggage in the storage underneath the bus.
See you on the next Megabus trip!