Fancy going on a road trip? Well, I tried that adventure when I travelled to Paris from London by bus. The difference between taking a train and boarding a plane is that the former offers more time to watch the beautiful scenery of the country side. The bus is even slower than a train or a plane, hence more opportunity for sight-seeing. It also stops at points where passengers can go down and eat or experience the locale.
I prepared my trip to Paris via bus by purchasing the ticket beforehand. There are several ways of getting tickets like going to the Euroline homepage, National Express web or through e-ticket. Other necessary preparations would be packing up sufficient but concise luggage; and checking in for my trip at least one hour before the ride, because the gate closes fifteen minutes before the trip and presenting my passport for this international travel would also cost at least 20 minutes. The Euroline check-in is adjacent to gate 19 of the station. I purchased a travel insurance to cover the medical expenses and other losses I might incur during the travel.
Victoria Coach Station
An art deco architectural theme predominantly adorns the building of the Victoria Coach Station. It is made to feel like a visual art, with an electric style and machine age motif. As I went roaming around the station, I noticed how wonderful the atmosphere was. It was magnificent to see an international bus station with people queuing for their ride. The sight of all those different busses lined up also caught my fancy.
As I boarded the bus, I left my luggage with the driver to be put it in the hold of the coach compartment. Each person can put one luggage, two medium suitcases in the hold or compartment of the bus. Folding bikes can also be placed in the same compartment. I loved the look of the interior of the bus. It even has an on-board toilet and a washroom. The seats are reclining – good for lying down and relaxing during the trip. Also, an extra legroom for the weary traveler is provided. I tried the many features of the bus to entertain myself like the Wi-Fi, DVDs, and music.
I got to take a nap during the trip. When I woke up, the bus has reached the channel tunnel terminal. All passengers went out of the bus and presented their valid papers. Then we went back inside the bus. This time, the bus strolled its way to the front of the Euro Tunnel train. The Euro Tunnel train is a vehicle shuttle for cars and coaches going through the channel tunnel. The channel tunnel is an undersea rail tunnel beneath the English Channel. The anticipation as the bus rolled into the train was thrilling. It was a bit terrifying for me. I kept wondering if the bus would even fit into the train. The thought of being under the sea also made me antsy. But all went pretty smoothly and the experience of being underwater was actually a very exhilarating one.
Arriving at Gallieni
The Gallieni bus station is the terminus of the Euroline busses. It is located in Bagnolet, the eastern part of the city. Directly with this station is the Metro Line 3 train going to other parts of the city. I rode the metro line 3 and reached the Place del’ Opera square. My arrival marked the end of my bus experience but the beginning of another exciting adventure. I am now very eager to come back and take that ride again in the future.
Photo by paolomargari on Flickr