So far I’ve got lost twice in two days. I know that won’t fill you with hope, ahead of such a long trip. The first time was yesterday, when I failed to navigate my way from London Victoria tube station to London Victoria coach station. As it turns out its only a 3 minute walk. I just walked in the wrong direction.
And the second time was today. I was on my bus, from Dusseldorf to Vilnius, itself not an inconsiderable journey. This was on a EuroLines service which ran right through to Riga, stopping at several places along the way, including (allegedly) Vilnius.
Earlier today we left our stop at the Lithuanian town of Kaunas, and I assumed the next stop would be mine. After all, the two cities are clearly linked by a lovely long road. It said on my ticket that I was going to Vilnius. And the board on the front of the bus clearly listed ‘Vilnius’ among its destinations.
However… It turns out at this point, whilst sat at the bus station, I missed an announcement where the bus driver said ‘Passengers wishing to travel to Vilnius need to get off the bus and get on another bus.’ I’ve just asked Google Translate, and this is what that sounds like:
“Keleiviai, norintys keliauti į Vilnių reikia išlipti iš autobuso ir gauti į kitą autobusą”
So put yourself in my shoes. You’re on a bus. The driver stops at a station which you imagine to be the last before your stop. And then he says over the tannoy ‘Keleiviai, norintys keliauti į Vilnių reikia išlipti iš autobuso ir gauti į kitą autobusą’.
What do you do? You do the same as I did, of course: nothing, because you don’t understand a bloody word he’s saying.
I began to grow concerned when, upon leaving Kaunas, the bus failed to take a turn for Vilnius. My concern ballooned when, at a second junction, we again ignored signs for Vilnius, heading instead towards Riga. And I positively shat myself when we passed a third sign, reading: Welcome to Latvia.
I complained to the driver upon our arrival in Riga. He looked nonplussed. I imagine he didn’t understand what I was saying. Perhaps I should have said ‘Kodėl nepasakei man išlipti jums kvailas bastard?’
So I’ve gone and bought myself a return ticket back to Vilnius, adding 4 hours to a 48 hour journey. Happily, this bus easily qualifies as The Greatest Bus Ever Built. They’ve got WiFi! Can you believe that?! Actual real life bloody WiFi! And they’ve got phone chargers, and FREE TEA AND COFFEE!
Bollocks the hostel, lets just drive around in this all night!
So all’s well that ends well. Even if this journey hasn’t actually ended yet. See this is the fun I’d have missed out on, if I’d just bloody flown…