July 30, 2018

Trapsing across Europe thanks to Ryanair

1.20am on Saturday morning. That was the time our flight was delayed until.

Well that was until we were sat there without food or drink waiting for news on our flight to London Stansted.

And then, the dreaded “Cancelled” sign popped up and everyone in the room did the usual groan before furiously grabbing their things and strutting back up to the check-in desk.

What on earth were we going to do now?

Cancelled flights and fully booked planes the next day meant we weren’t going to be getting out of Luxembourg in a hurry.

With not one member of Ryanair staff in sight, staff at the airport helped us out with getting a hotel. It took a few hours, but all four of us meant to be travelling back to Stansted ended up in the same hotel, literally in the middle of nowhere.

It was then up to us what to do next.

Our hotel was in the middle of nowhere and ironically, planes were flying overhead as we tried to figure out where to go and what to do next

The journey back to London

At the point of the flight’s cancellation we knew we all had to get back somehow and Ryanair certainly weren’t going to get us there.

One of us ended up in Cologne, the other on a flight to Manchester a day and a half later and then my mum and I had to decide how to get back to London.

Cologne was too expensive, and the train to Dusseldorf was going to take too long so where did we end up?

Brussels via Liege.

We took the train from Luxembourg to Liege and changed there for a train to Brussels.

Just a month ago I posted a photo of Brussels’ arcade saying I wanted a mini adventure and I guess I had got it in the end!

On the train from Luxembourg to Liege

The train journey itself was pleasant and it was nice to watch Luxembourg turn into Belgium and see all of the beautiful countryside outside.

And mainly I was just amazed at how a three and a half hour journey between two countries could cost less than a single ticket from London to Bristol.

When I travel through Europe I am always in awe at the idea of crossing borders and it just reminds me how disappointing it is to leave the EU behind next year. I just don’t understand.

We made it back to Grand Place!

It wasn’t long before we ended up in Brussels Nord station and were finding our way back to the landmarks right in the centre of the city that we knew well.

Grande Place was certainly busier than the last couple of times I was there – to be fair it is the height of summer and it was 34C!

It was certainly a lot busier than the last time I was here but it was good to be back

We had just three hours to wander around the city before getting on another train to the airport for our flight with Brussels Airlines.

We stopped in Grande Place and then the arcade where after our mammoth journey we decided to treat ourselves at the Hagen Daas while watching everyone go by.

I decided to opt for the Belgian waffle with salted caramel and strawberry cheesecake ice cream. It was then all coated with Godiva chocolate which was absolute heaven.

After that we did some more exploring before heading to Centraal station to get the train to the airport.

I treated myself to some Belgian waffles when we finally got to Brussels

Swings and roundabouts

From reading other people’s accounts online of trying to get to their destination, it became clear that we were fairly lucky. There were parents with small children stuck on planes for hours without food and water with others spending hours waiting for their luggage to come back after their flight was cancelled.

Yes it was pretty shitty that my flight was cancelled. Yes I am now possibly broke because of it. But I did get to spend an additional day in Europe, wander around one of my favourite European cities, eat waffles and chocolate and end up at an airport that wasn’t in the middle of nowhere (i’m looking at you Stansted).

Hopefully my travel insurance will cover it even if Ryanair won’t fit the bill. And by Sunday afternoon all four of us finally made it home.

You can bet i’m feeling knackered today!

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