The long way around

Brussels Travel Blog

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Today was possibly the most frustrating day of travel I can recall... or close to the top of the list in any case. In an effort to get from the Netherlands to Ljubljana, Slovenia it seemed (back home in Australia) that the simplest thing would be to catch a train into nearby Belgium and take a dirt-cheap flight from there.

I really doubt I could"ve chosen a more circuitous or exhausting route had that been my agenda!

Pete flew out to Munich this morning from Schipol and my Thalys train to Brussels left there as well so we started out well. Two and a half hours later with a large Belgian woman sleeping on my shoulder and I glad to be off the train... only to find myself in the massive Brussels-Midi train station with my pack. There was absolutely no signage to the Airport bus to Charleroi Airport so I waited in a line that snaked around the Tourist Info Centre three times for the poor overworked guy to give me instructions that consisted of "go outside and turn left".

Hence, I went outside and turned left. And walked. And walked. And walked. Finally found the bus to the Airport which was not really Brussels at all but about 1.5 hours south (Charleroi) and was just a massive tin shed with nothing (and I mean nothing) inside- no seats, one vending machine that had sold out, and about seven hundred noisy adults and three hundred even noisier children.

My $50 plane to Slovenia (yes, now I know why it was so cheap) was nearly two hours late which is a long time when you"ve already been sitting on the floor for two hours and I was completely OVER IT.

Enter Ljubljana... brand new airport that actually works the friendliest immigration officials I"ve ever met, cheap and clean and friendly city transfer, friendly hotel staff. Thank goodness... better luck tomorrow!

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photo by: Vlindeke