Belgium to London (Itinerary)
Our choice of transportation from Brussels to London was by bus and this was only because we felt it was a good way to save budget on both transportation and hotels. Since we had pooled more money from Brussels (eating at home and staying with Barts’ family), we wanted to use that towards the end of the #EuroChameleon trip for sightseeing. I would recommend the bus only if you’re able to stand the conditions of it (space wise) at night as you would be traveling for quite some time. Our bus choice for crossing these 2 countries was the Megabus UK which cost 15 pounds per person for one way. Here is a rough itinerary of the 7 hours journey on the overnight bus.
Leaving Brussels, Belgium from Rue du Cardinal
11:30 pm – Took the Megabus from Rue du Cardinal (Cardinal Road) which was just beside the Central Station. We had to look for it a few times as it wasn’t a proper bus stop. We approached 2 girls standing at the corner of the station and found out that we were on the same bus. Waited here for 30 minutes along with other passengers.
The two girls who were the first to wait for the Megabus were heading to London for their school break while another Belgium girl was off to meet her friends for the long weekend holiday. What surprised me was that there were more girls traveling on this midnight bus compared to the guys. Perhaps they had the same thought as I did which was to maximize our days in the city, save hotel money by sleeping in the overnight bus.
12:00 am – Got on the bus and since it was free seating, we were separated. The bus is smaller than Eurolines and it felt so cramped. Truly uncomfortable despite other plus points which was the toilet and wifi. Passengers had tried to keep the 2 seats to themselves by putting their bags and lying down, to avoid sharing it with others. This annoyed me a lot only because there were many people who came on board and didn’t know where to sit. The bus driver had to intervene and asked the passenger to move their items to allow other people to sit in their seats. We had another 2 stops, picking up passengers before we headed our way out of Brussels.
3:30 am – Was just dozing off for an hour when the bus driver suddenly announced that we had to get off for customs check. Dammit there goes my sleep and rest for the night, I grumbled to myself. So everyone went down and queued for the customs check in Belgium and after that walked over to the UK side for passport checks. Parents with young children were seen trying to pacify them from having to wake up from their nap. There was one couple who had to be pulled aside for questioning. These border checks are quite strict and lucky for us we had the necessary documents to prove our entry and leaving Europe. We were mostly questioned on how long we intended to stay in London, why did we decide on taking the bus and our departure date from London. I was already getting used to these questions as they thought I was a student traveling in Europe for the first time.
4:00 am – Just about to doze off when the driver announced again that the bus would go into the ferry and we were not allowed to stay on it. We had to get off and head up to Deck 5, the passengers area until the ferry crosses the English Channel. We had to remember the colour of the stairs and our bus number to ensure we got on the same one again. We brought our carry-on, handbags etc while the rest of the luggage was left in the luggage compartment of the bus.
The Pride of Kent ferry had 8 decks with restaurants, cafes, bars, lounges, shops ans entertainment and a floor for commercial drivers to lounge, shower or eat. We were on Deck 5 which had a Starbucks cafe and plenty of tables, chairs for us to sit or take a snooze while the ferry crosses to the other side. I didn’t feel sleepy and intended to stay awake until we got on the bus again to continue my sleep. After close to one hour, the ferry finally reached the terminal and we got on the bus again, the correct one as the first bus was going to Paris (thank goodness we asked before we got on the bus).
6:30 am – I woke up to the sounds of chatter next to me. A French student and a girl traveling from Bolivia had fast become friends sharing seats with each other. I glimpsed outside and saw the cobblestone roads and the familiar red bus. It was already morning and we are already in London!
How did you travel to London? Did you have any similar story?
About Yafieda Jamil
A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.