I love to travel and I’ve visited plenty of countries, although my ‘to-visit’ list is forever growing. As a result, I’ve experienced a variety of journeys; some good, some bad and some downright terrible. My worst journey was a trip to Germany and today, I thought I’d share the memory!
As a child, most of my European travel was as a consequence of music. I played violin as part of the Suffolk Youth Orchestra (fun fact) and we travelled to a new place in Europe every year and toured our orchestra around the local area. This rather unique reason for travelling involved a unique way of travel because we also had to transport an orchestra’s worth of instruments to our concerts, so we travelled by coach. Trust me when I say all flights, however delayed, are put into perspective when you’ve travelled to that destination by coach!
The longest journey I ever experienced was when we caught the coach to Hungary (a massive 28 hours) but it doesn’t win my worst journey award; my trip to Germany does. The journey began on a cloudy day in England; two coaches full of teenagers and instruments ready to brave the supposed 18 hour journey. We travelled to Dover, caught the ferry across the Channel and spent the journey shopping, eating and enjoying the ferry. We all then piled back onto our coach and… the engine wouldn’t start. Nothing could be done and the engineer was back in Dover. So we watched our fellow bus depart into France – and we headed back to Dover!
In Dover, we waited with baited breath as the engineer attempted to fix the coach – to no success. We were then informed that there was a replacement coach… in France. So we headed back across the Channel for now the third time that day, hoping that a working coach awaited us.
Back again in Calais, we waited for a new coach … and waited. Was it ever going to arrive? Three hours later, we finally spotted a coach heading towards us and we could begin loading our instruments onto our new coach. We limped the final hours to our destination, Gotha. Exhausted, grumpy and thoroughly fed up, we stumbled off the coach to be met by our conductor and fellow musicians, looking refreshed and alert, having spent the afternoon relaxing after arriving 8 hours earlier. Then, our conductor told us to be ready for rehearsals in five minutes – what an end to a terrible journey!
Do you have any disastrous travel stories? I’d love to hear your memories below!