Backpacking to Europe – Part 18: Eurolines Bus to Berlin

Previously

When we arrived at Duivendrecht, suddenly it was snowing heavily again. We could see that from the Metro platform. We asked the friendly officer at the information counter (most Dutch people are super-friendly anyway) on how to go to Eurolines bus station because from my research, it looked nearby. He told us to exit the station and cross the road. Indeed, the distance is so near. Snow had started to accumulate on the road and we had a tougher time dragging our luggage to the station.

Kami sampai je kat Duivendrecht, tiba-tiba salji turun balik dengan lebatnya. Dari platform stesen dah nampak dah salji turun. Kitorang tak pasti macam mana cara nak ke stesen bas Eurolines walaupun tengok kat Google Map macam dekat je. Nasib baik ada kaunter pertanyaan. Abang kaunter pun tunjukkan jalan kat kitorang. Memang dekat je. Dia kata keluar je dari stesen, terus lintas jalan. Kitorang keluar-keluar dari stesen, salji dah makin menebal atas jalan. Dengan salji-salji kitorang seret bila kitorang seret beg kitorang.

The walk path from the Metro station to Eurolines office.

We went inside the station and I went straight to the check-in counter (yes, for Eurolines buses departing from Amsterdam, check-in is a must). I gave the person manning the counter my ticket print-out and in exchange, I was given our boarding passes and our luggage tags.

Kitorang sampai je ke stesen bas tu, kitorang terus pergi kaunter check-in. Kalau naik bas Eurolines, memang kena check-in. Aku pun bagi abang kaunter tu tiket yang aku dah print siap-siap. Lepas tengok tiket tu dan passport kitorang, dia bagi kitorang punya boarding pass dengan luggage tag.

See the snowing?

Some friends of mine had questioned my decision on visiting Berlin since going to Berlin by bus would take around 9 hours when in fact, there are other German cities like Cologne and even Frankfurt that are even nearer. My answer: for its history and the long bus-ride experience. I know Berlin is not as architecturally modern as Frankfurt but I really love history and had watched a lot of documentaries on WW II and the Berlin Wall. Since Europe is far and I did not know when I  will revisit this continent again, so I thought might as well I visit Berlin. Plus, the long bus ride must be amazing, not to mention I saved on a night’s stay.

Sebenarnya, ada kawan-kawan aku yang pelik dengan keputusan aku nak ke Berlin. Mana taknya, jarak Berlin dari Amsterdam dah lah jauh, kalau naik bas, adalah dalam 9 jam nak ke sana. Padahal ada je bandar Jerman macam Cologne dan Frankfurt yang lagi dekat. Tapi, nak buat macam mana. Aku ni dah memang gila sejarah. Dari kecil teringin nak tengok Tembok Berlin. Maka, ke sanalah kita!

The bus to Berlin from Amsterdam costed me 23 Euro per person.

Tiket bas dari Amsterdam ke Berlin aku beli dengan harga 23 Euro seorang.

Eurolines building.

Whilst waiting for the bus to depart at 10.00 pm, we waited inside the building. We could not wait outside because the snowfall was getting heavier every minute. I went outside just to see how bad it was, in the matter of seconds, my hoodie was filled with snow.

Memandangkan bas akan bertolak pukul 10.00 malam dan jam baru pukul 9.00 lebih malam, kitorang pun tunggu je dalam bangunan tu. Nak tunggu lepak kat luar tak boleh sebab salji lebat sangat. Aku try keluar sekejap je, lepas tu habis hoodie aku penuh dengan salji.

I looked around and saw two young gentlemen speaking among themselves. They looked like Malaysians but since Southeast Asians mostly look almost the same, I tried to listen to their conversation. It sounded Malay to me. So, I walked towards them and asked in Malay, “Are you guys Malaysians?”, which they answered in affirmative.

Aku dok melepak dalam bangunan tu, main handphone sambil mata melilau-lilau tengok keliling. Nampak 2 orang budak muda ni, macam orang Malaysia. Tapi, tak sure ya atau tak sebab orang-orang ASEAN ni muka lebih kurang je semuanya. Haha. Aku cuba-cuba dengar diorang borak-borak, aku rasa sah orang Malaysia. Aku pun jalan ke arah diorang dan tanya “Orang Malaysia ke?” dan diorang mengiakan.

En route to Berlin.

We started chatting and got to know each other. They are medical students from Egypt, on their study leaves and decided to visit Europe for a week. I told them how lucky they were. As a local graduate, I could only afford to travel to a different continent after 6 years of working.

Kitorang pun berborak-borak. Diorang ni student medic kat Egypt, ada cuti sem jadi diorang jalan-jalanlah kat Eropah ni. Untunglah dik! Abang grad lokal, lepas dah kerja 6 tahun baru dapat jejak ke sini!

Nevertheless, they envied us too. They told us that it was rare to see young couples travel together, especially when it extended for a period of two weeks. Mostly, only one of the couples love to travel and the other would like something else. They told me how lucky I was to have found my soulmate.

Rupanya, pada masa yang sama, diorang pun cemburu dengan aku dan Amira. “Dah kahwin dapat keluar jalan-jalan lagi, 2 minggu dengan bini. Bukan senang tu bang!”, diorang berseloroh. Alhamdulillah.

The rest area. In reality, it was darker than this.

We were laughing and happily chatting in our mother tongues when suddenly, I heard the Eurolines guy called “bus to Berlin…! To Berlin!”. I stared at my watch and it was already almost 10.00 pm. I bid farewell to the two Malaysian guys (they were going to some other town in France) and Amira and I went outside to board the bus.

Kitorang dok sembang, gelak-gelak, tak sedar jam dah dekat pukul 10.00 malam. Tu pun nasib orang Eurolines panggil “bus to Berlin! To Berlin!”, kalau tak memang tak sedar. Aku cakap bye2 dan selamat maju jaya kat dua orang budak medic tu (diorang nak ke Perancis) dan aku dan Amira pun angkat beg kitorang masuk ke dalam bas.

The bus left sharp at 10.00 pm, slowly gaining speed when it entered the expressway. I stared out of the window and saw the landscape changing from snowy grounds to pitch darkness. I fall asleep most of the times and woke up when it stopped for a toilet break (just one toilet break throughout the journey, or was it two?) . I could not help but to compare their rest area with Malaysia’s. While Malaysia’s rest areas have toilets, eateries and other amenities, here, it is just a toilet and surrounded by forests and darkness.

Bas bertolak tepat pukul 10.00 malam. Aku tengok luar, nampak gelap je jalan. Nampak landskap berubah dari penuh salji ke hutan-hutan dan penuh kegelapan. Hampir sepanjang perjalanan aku tertidur melainkan sekali sekala, aku terjaga untuk tengok ke luar atau cuba update blog ni. Adalah bas berhenti dekat RnR (sebab dalam bas tak ada tandas) dan aku tengok, sadis betul RnR diorang. Cuma ada satu bangunan tandas, tu pun macam agak terpencil dan memang gelap giler. Kalau kat Malaysia, bukan main mewah RnR!

Next: Part 19

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Eurolines provides bus services to many destinations all across Europe. If booking is done beforehand, the price can be cheap. It costed us 23 Euro each for our bus from Amsterdam to Berlin. For our journey, there was no toilet in the bus but WiFi was available and working well.

For more info on Eurolines, click here.

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9 thoughts on “Backpacking to Europe – Part 18: Eurolines Bus to Berlin

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