At last, I’m in York! After around 34 hours of travel, we pulled in at York Station 13 hours later than expected. Read on to find out why!
So my travelling started on Monday at 6.45am, in Clermont-Ferrand. Well, I arrived early to make sure I didn’t miss it, which gave me time to get some breakfast at the Crousti Pain down the road. I then boarded the coach to Paris, and took a seat. In the queue I bumped into Dirk, a guy from Denmark that I’d met before. We were both going to Paris, then going our separate ways for the week. Anyway, I had been looking forward to getting some sleep on the way there, but unfortunately I’d taken a seat next to a broken speaker, which kept beeping every few seconds. Suffice to say, I didn’t get much sleep.
We arrived in Paris at about midday, and I wanted to go find a supermarket to get food for the long journey ahead of me. So me and Dirk took the Metro to Montparnasse station. Although we both bought tickets, there was an open gate ahead of me, so I took advantage of it. Pro-tip: never do this. In one of the tunnels going towards the platform, there were employees checking to see if passengers had put their ticket through. And obviously I hadn’t. I was hit with an on-the-spot 35€ fine. Seriously, USE 👏 YOUR 👏 TICKET 👏.
On our way back, Dirk and I took separate trains back, so we’ll meet again in Clermont-Ferrand. I got back to Bercy a good 15 minutes before my bus left, this one going direct to London Victoria. Luckily, no faulty speaker here! But unfortunately, this good luck was not to last. We arrived in Calais, and had 20 minutes to use the facilities and get some food, then it was back to the bus. Once we went through border control, we sat on the bus to wait. The time went by, and we still weren’t boarded onto the train. Before long, we were delayed by just over an hour, and it was clear I wasn’t going to make my connection at London Victoria. Turns out there was a train stuck in the tunnel, but we weren’t told this personally.
We eventually got to London just after midnight, with my coach having left an hour before. The Trainline app was showing the next available coach at 7am, so I was all ready to spend the night in the station. But a quick glance at the timetable told me there was a Megabus coach at 1am which would stop at York. Well, being me this wouldn’t be the case. My ticket said it was stopping at Leeds to arrive at York by half 8. Turns out, there was a connection at Leeds that I wasn’t told about. We got to just outside of Manchester, and I had been assuming we’d loop around to go to York. I enquired, and was told only then about the connection.
By half 9, we were in Liverpool, on the opposite coast to where I needed to be. At this point, I was exhausted and ready for bed. My driver said he’d take me back to Manchester where I could get a train or another coach across to York. I didn’t really want to wait that long, so I went to a National Express desk to see if there were any coaches. Miraculously, there was one at 11am going to Leeds, then another to York.
Despite being stuck in heavy traffic outside Manchester, I caught my connection and finally arrived in York at 3.05pm. The rest of the afternoon was bussing to my grandparents’, unpacking and having my tea, and I was in bed for 7pm.
Today was much better. I was up for about 9ish, then got some breakfast and chilled out for a bit. I had no plans in particular for today besides going round town for a bit. I sat outside the Minster for lunch.
It was strange using Pounds again instead of Euros, and being able to understand people’s overheard conversations (no, I don’t listen in on them!). Also, can we start a petition to get £3 meal deals in France, I’ve really missed them!
I went back to my uni to get some documents sorted out, and I realise now how small the library is in my host university in France. I also bumped into Isabella, my new housemate-to-be in July.
After that, I went on the search for an EU to UK plug adaptor. I couldn’t find anywhere in town, so I took a bus to the big Tesco at Askham Bar. I also picked up an extension lead, some shower gel and a birthday card for my sister.
Tomorrow I’m planning on catching up with my work bestie Niamh and properly meeting my cousin’s baby. Oh, I’ll also be buying loads of Cadburys chocolate!
I’ll write again tomorrow about my second proper day in York. I hope you enjoy the rest of your day, whichever continent and time zone you’re in! See you soon!