On Sunday evening the great adventure begins. For reasons I will explain at a later date, rather than flying, I will be taking the EuroLines coach from Dublin to Brussels in Belgium. By the end of my journey I will have been travelling for no less than twenty-five hours, and I still don’t know exactly where I will be sleeping. All that I do know is that once in Brussels I must catch a train to the town of Kortrijk in Flanders. The organisers of the research trip have said that they will have beds for the team in the student residence there, but, as yet, I don’t know the address of the residence. If this is sounding disorganised don’t worry; this is typical of my travel arrangements, and it has always worked out in the past. All that I need to do is make sure that my derrière is on the coach at Busáras in Dublin at eight o’clock tomorrow evening. As this is a research trip on behalf of the Irish government into the Irish soldiers’ graves from the First World War I expect to be waved off by a tearful young lady holding a white handkerchief. My parting words will be something suitable, like, “It’ll all be over by Christmas.”
It's only a 49 minute walk from the bus station to the train station in Brussels! I wonder if there is a train. http://t.co/OBDVAo7EvP—
Ùr-Fhàsaidh (@UrFhasaidh) August 22, 2015
No doubt symbolic of Ireland’s less-than-prized status in the European Union there is no direct coach service between Dublin and the European capital at Brussels. What this means is that the first leg of my journey will be to Victoria Street in London. I’ll be arriving in London at a quarter past eight in the morning, and after twelve hours on the bus I will have an hour and forty-five minutes to stretch and take in the sights before getting on the ten o’clock coach from London to Brussels. Assuming there are no problems crossing three international borders (more on this at a later date) I will be alighting from this second bus at the Bus Station in Brussels at a quarter past six in the evening on Monday. At this point, if I have not gone completely mad after twenty-two hours on a coach, I have another train to catch at half seven that will take me on to Kortrijk in Flanders. At quarter to ten in the evening I should be there and know where I will be sleeping. However much I am not looking forward to the long journey there, I am really looking forward to getting my nose in about the Irish War Records.