We knew the day would be long. We had booked a Eurolines coach to take us all the way from Amsterdam through north Germany to Copenhagen. Costing only roughly £35 each and one mode of transport rather than a lot more and at least three trains, this way had to be better. However, 13.5 hours was pretty bad… There was one unexpected bonus though.
The bus left at 7am and our hostel was chosen so it was only three stops away on the metro (and one of the cheapest we could find), using yesterday’s 24 hour metro/tram card. As the Netherlands was the last place we would be spending euros we had done so well the day before buying food for the trip and using all the change with less than one euro left. What we had forgotten is service station toilets are almost always not free on the continent. They do sometimes however give you the cost back in the form of a voucher to spend in the shop. We thought we’d just use the toilet on the bus as it wasn’t too bad. However, the Eurolines employee who wasn’t driving started to get shitty when everyone kept asking him to unlock it. Apparently it was only to be used in emergencies. He had also refused to give everyone a free bottle of water and wanted one euro for it. Rumblings began.
We passed through Groningen and on towards Hamburg, the scenery didn’t change much but it was pretty. Flat fields with windmills and flat sea with more windmills.
At the second loo and food stop we had no change left but the toilets had a contactless option. Great! This means we don’t have get more cash out. The contactless did not work. We were a bit desperate for the loo and feared the wrath of the Eurolines employee so we reluctantly got out another tenner and paid for a chocolate bar to break it. Turns out the cash machine was not free and without any warning it charged us €6.50 for the privilege of using it.
Back on the bus one woman tried to use the bus loo again. The Eurolines man got angry. The woman started complaining loudly as she didn’t have change for every service stop loo and the bus one was free, given she’d aready paid for her travel. The man replayed the intro video just to make a point to her that it was for ’emergencies only’… He was then called a stupid man and racist. It was mutiny on the bus. The rumblings got louder and louder, another passenger had some words, then he made the sensible decision to leave the loo unlocked for the rest of the way. Phew.
This all happened before about 2pm and we still had 6.5 hours to go, just half way there… So far the bus had stopped at Groningen, then into Germany stopping at Oldenburg, Bremen and Hamburg with a staff change which eased the whole toilet/mutiny issue. I thought it would travel north into Denmark over land to Odense then across the bridge into Zealand for Copenhagen. But here was the surprise.
We reached the island of Fehmarn and joined the queue of lorries for the Puttgarden (Germany) to Rødby (Denmark) ferry. A wonderful 45 minute crossing where briefly almost no land could be seen either way. We stretched our legs well and wobbled them too when the choppiness got so bad we couldn’t walk in a straight line.
Two and a half hours later we reached Copenhagen at roughly 20:30, basically on time. It was a bitter wind and I was pleased to know all the warm weather gear I brought with me was going to be useful. Our hostel was close by and so was a well deserved beer, or two.