I apologize in advance for the lack of pictures in this post, there are none of our fascinating bus trip. But there are plenty of Berlin to come!
I spent from December 21 to December 28 in Berlin with friends Marissa, Liz and Maureen, as well as Maureen’s friend Catherine for several days. There is so much to say, so I think I’ll divide it into several parts (I’m sure you’re thrilled!). Let’s start from the beginning – the famed 14+ hour bus ride from Paris to Berlin.
Yes, we went on a bus. We saved 20 euro! You can decide for yourself if it was worth it…
The bus left from Paris at 7:30pm on December 20, to arrive around 10am in Berlin. We had one stop at 7:30am in Germany, and other than that, it was a straight shot. We arrived early in hopes that we would get to sit near one another, and that paid off! We had a section of 4 seats, and as we settled in and prepared to leave, we foresaw a quiet overnight voyage during which we could primarily sleep, leaving us refreshed for our arrival in Berlin in the morning.
We had the incredible misfortune of sitting directly in front of a family of 4 who seemed at first to be part of some candid-camera type show where they intentionally tortured us for the fun of seeing how long we’d last. It started off with an incredibly smelly meal, wrapped in what must have been 5 layers of aluminum foil, eaten on and off over the course of the trip, including at 2am. How they were hungry at that time, I did not know.
The man sitting behind me answered his loudly ringing cell phone about 8 times, each time having lively conversations. Even at 3am. He also had a habit of pulling on my seat to give himself leverage to readjust, but each time, he pulled my hair as well. The final time, I turned around and told him to STOP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, and he waved me away with his hand. I was not pleased.
I also was not pleased when, in the middle of the night, I awoke to him resting his entire leg on my armrest from behind. With my arm on it. Yes, his leg was resting on top of my arm, his gross socked feet touching my hand. At this point, I forcefully shoved his leg to the ground, wondering of my fellow passengers would back me up should I choose to physically harm him.
We also discovered that this man was drinking some sort of liquor the entire voyage after we found it spilled over our bags, scarves, and shoes on the floor beneath us. We also observed him purchase and drink a beer at our 7am rest stop break. Oh, the bus trip was stressful for you?? I’m sure. Not to mention his getting off to smoke when we dropped passengers off at various stops despite the captain asking everybody to stay onboard. And not to mention his wife playing angry birds until 4am (excuse me, ma’am, but have you head of the MUTE button? You should give that a go).
The bus itself was a bit cramped, and some of the reclining mechanisms were broken on various seats. Liz’s seat would only recline with constant backward pressure, so she attempted to sleep upright for the entire time. Maureen’s seat got stuck completely in the reclined position, rendering me unable to move for about 15 minutes while we tried desperately to lift it back up. We finally awoke the ‘copilot’ to help us (the “service please” button also was apparently useless), he fixed it in about 5 seconds flat; it was a tad embarrassing.
We arrived in Berlin ready to take on the world. And by that, I mean ready to pass out and/or stalk the man to his home and put flaming dog poop on his doorstep.
I am happy to report that the ride from Berlin back to Paris was lovely, and I slept in peace almost the whole way. And we had 3 rest stops to stretch our legs. And nobody had long drawn out cell phone conversations. I simply ask you, Eurolines, to please equip your bathrooms with toilet paper. That is all.
I felt the need to record that for posterity, and now that that rant is out of the way, it’s time to tell you all about BERLIN!!!