When you get to be 50, you begin to seek comfort, and try to stay away from adventures. But quite frankly, with airline seats and space between them so short these days, at least for us, forced economy class fans, comfort seems to be a thing of the past. If you want to travel further than your couch, better get used to cramped quarters and a certain level of discomfort.
I wanted to travel by bus within Europe, which would be a new experience to me. My wife was a little hesitant about the whole deal, but I was sufficiently enthusiastic to convince her. I like buses and bus travel, call me nuts. And the price charged by Eurolines for a ticket between Brussels and Amsterdam was unbelievable, 17 Euros. Yes, the price of a regular dish at a moderately priced restaurant in most of Europe.
The Eurolines quarters at Gare du Nord were not enticing. They had that 70’s Times Square feeling, if you know what I mean, by far the worst place I visited in Belgium. But we went ahead with my pet project.
The trip was good. The bus left and arrived on time, was comfortable enough, made a stop along the way, where we had some French fries (I guess, Dutch fries) and bought some drinks, where I tried my recalcitrant Dutch and visited the bathroom. The bus had no bathroom, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on your situation. Lots of beautiful scenery on the way, tons of cows, sheep and ducks. We could thus see some of the Belgian and Dutch countryside, away from the train lines. Plus, got to visit two cities that were not on our plans, Breda and Utretch. Well not really visit, we just passed by to drop passengers, but we could at least see something other than Amsterdam.
Eurolines prices are really cheap, unbelievably so. You could visit most European capitals on much less than a 1000 Euros, in fact, they offer package deals for 1, 2 weeks and a month.
I am not sure that I would travel from Brussels to Russia at this stage in my life, but honestly, for shorter hauls Eurolines is a very good, safe, and inexpensive bet.