About a year back, I took one of the most unique bus trips of my life. Living at the time in Northern France, I decided that I would take a low cost bus line from Lille, France, to London, England. One of the neatest things about this bus trip, is that because England is an island separated from the rest of Europe by the English Channel, we got to make use of the Eurotunnel.
Living in Lille, I was familiar with the Eurostar, the train-line which connected France and England, as many of our English tourists arrived to the city using the Eurostar, but this was really my first experience learning anything about the Eurotunnel, the car-train crossing.
After crossing through security, once to leave France and another to enter England, our bus drove onto the Eurotunnel, which was packed full with other vehicles. Once all vehicles are parked inside and everything is secure, the Eurotunnel takes off. People are welcome to get out of their vehicles and walk around, if they desire and there is even a bathroom at the front of the train. As the train takes off, you can see a little bit through the windows, until the train reaches the inside of the tunnel and the view suddenly disappears. The ride itself takes about 35 minutes and prices start at 85 pound per car. The sooner you book, the cheaper the prices tend to be.
Before you cross over the channel, you can stop at one of the Eurotunnel terminals. If you want to grab a meal beforehand or you need to kill some time because of delays, like we had, it's definitely somewhere that you can go to pass some time. I only managed to stop at the UK Eurotunnel terminal, but was surprised at how built up it was. Things to do there include purchasing food from one of the numerous styles of restaurants, partaking in the sit down bar, making use of the play areas for children and the duty free shopping. They even have free bathrooms, which is very hard to come by in Europe. There are some points there during the day when it can get quite crowded, so if you decide to go, prepare accordingly or be prepared to wait in very long food lines.
The Eurotunnel is a unique way to bridge the gap, if you would like to take your car from the mainland England over to Europe. Just like any other man-made transportation services, there have been the occasional break downs and delays. In my experience, we had quite the delay of boarding at one point, but the workers were kind enough to come around, delivering water bottles to the passengers and cars on the buses. From what I have read, they have dealt with any previous break downs in a professional way and passengers have always ended up eventually making it to their final destinations. According to my research, technical problems don't seem to be a common occurrence. The Eurotunnel has been up and running since 1988 and since then has serviced over 22 million passengers. Will it be your next source of British-Mainland Europe transportation?