Most of the time, travel means working in sunshine overlooking the Rhine and sipping cocktails on a beach, but other times you have to stay positive through the less glamorous situations. Here’s a roundup of my travel calamities.
I’ll start my travel calamities with coach travel, because I can still feel the heat of this horrendous journey.
We had a heatwave in the UK which meant that train tracks expanded and all trains between Norwich and London were cancelled. So, I was on the coach to Heathrow, a journey of 4 hours and 50 minutes.
Optimistically, I had packed a blanket scarf because I thought the air con might be too cold.
I think I have done something to annoy National Express in a previous life, because there wasn’t any air con at all, just 33˚ air being circulated through the vents. That kind of heat where the faux-leather seats are slimy as soon as you sit on them. Within seconds my skin was gleaming with sweat.
It was so hot the roads were melting and the coach had to be diverted.
There is a train that runs between Norwich and Liverpool, a 5 and a half hour journey. It’s actually quicker to change trains twice than it is to go direct. I was travelling for work though and chose to go direct than mess around changing at stations I wasn’t familiar with.
The journey takes so long, these are the things that don’t make it all the way:
- All the carriages
- The refreshments
- The train conductor
- The train driver
These are the things that do make it all the way:
Also, the train changes direction twice, meaning that whichever direction you face at the beginning of your journey, you’ll be going backwards for a large chunk of time.
On the return journey from Liverpool, I didn’t feel well at all. Perhaps attributable to the fact that I don’t know what time I arrived back to my hotel the evening before. I think it was the backwards travel that finished me off though. I tried to deny the fact that I was going to be sick for as long as possible but about an hour away from my destination I needed to dash to the toilet to be sick. Sorry everyone.
I consider myself quite lucky in that at the time of writing, I haven’t had many problems with flying. There’s one journey that I’ll remember for hte rest of my life and will always appear in my list of travel calamities.
Here’s what happened on one journey to and from Tromso:
- Fog in Amsterdam delaying take off from Norwich
- Lack of crew delaying take off from Amsterdam
- Missed aeroplane in Bergen, with a wait of 5 hours until the next one, resulting in missing the coach to our hotel and having to pay £300 for a taxi
- Snow delaying landing of aircraft coming in to Tromso for the return journey
- Finally get on the aeroplane, zoom down the runway… then return to the terminal
- Technical fault, delay of 24 hours
- Replacement plane the following day is much smaller, bumped to another flight
- Ice on aircraft, need to wait for de-icer
It was so cloudy we didn’t see the Northern Lights and my mum doesn’t want to travel ever again, so…
Read about Tromso in my 4 Alternative City Breaks