Modern Pelgrim to Santiago de Compostella part two – a brigth sunny Sunday

Fortunatley I was awake in time to catch the 7.50 train to Sodupe. It was quiet in the street. In contary to the street were the interlocal buses departs. People who spent the night in Bilbao and now wanted to go back home were waiting for the green-white Biskaibus buses. That’s why various buses were already at their bustop.

Slowly I walked to the Concordia station. There the train of 7.50 to Balmaseda and the train of 8.10 to Santander were at the station.

The train to Balmaseda was rather full with people going back home after one night in Bilbao. The train left in time. And after two underground stations, the train followed the river Cadagua. It was still foggy, but the sun was trying to burn that away. It promised to be a splendid day.

After thirty minutes the train arrived in Sodupe where I got out. There was a train to Bilbao waiting!

Exactly on time the diesel trainset to Santander appeared around the corner.

FEVE 2718-2717 Sodupe

Also this train was quiet full. I found a seat opposite an elderly lady who did not stop reading her book.The train rushes through wood and meadow till it reached the station of Gibaja. Here we needed to wait for the train coming from Santander to Bilbao. Waiting time was around five minutes en enough to take some pictures.

The staff exchanged trains . The inspector came to ask to every passenger her or his destination and passed the information on to the driver. Now the train stopped only at stations where somebody liked to leave or liked to board. I mentioned Orejo. from there I planned to take the train to Lierganes. The weather was too beautiful not to go. Orjeo desolated and in the middle of nowhere.

FEVE 2717-2718 Orejo

Soon the electric set, three cariages, to Lierganes arrived. The train was full with passengers going for the day to Lierganes or beyond. The weather must be good, otherwise better not to go. Here you are in the heart of Cantabria with nice things to see. Amongst others the Puente Romano and the center with its old nicely decorated houses.

The railway ends here. Incoming trains are returning within five minutes back to Santander. I made a walk and sitting on a terrace coffee and something to eat. On the station the usual pictures were taken.

The train with which the trip to Santander was done, was completely empty. Ah no, one lady was sitting in the train as well.

FEVE 6803 interior

it was around midday the train arrived in Santander. Due to the Sunday, it was very quiet here.

The hotel was found easily. Backpac was dropped and jeans changed for summer trousers. as a good Pilgrim I attended a mass in one of the churches. After the mass time for lunch. On a terrace and on listing distance two dutch ladies, most likely backpackers the way they were dressed . Their backpacks were next them them on the floor. Next to me an Autralian couple of middle age. They arrived by boat from Southampton for a short visit to Bilbao and Santander. Their boat would leave the next day back to England.

After the lunch I strolled over the boulevard to the Magadelena palace. Due to the nice weather the beach was full with people. Some of them wearing really almost nothing. The palace is at the far end of a big parc. Going back went by bus.

Later in the evening it started to rain and during the night even heavy. I met the Australian couple in the restaurant of the hotel and joined them for diner.

Modern Pelgrim to Santiago de Compostella part one

In my previus blog, I was writing about the plans to walk to Santiago de Compostella. Not from Holland but from the French-Spanish border Irun/Hendaya.

In 2015 however, I travelled as a modern Pelgrim, by public transport, already to Santiago de Compostella.

In the next blogs I like to share with the reader my experiences.

After a good preparation, I left Holland on 30 May 2015 by plane to Bilbao. Here the roundtrip to Santiago de Compostella by train would start the next day.

Arriving in Bilbao by bus 3247 to the city.

Line 3247-Biskaibus 2006 Bilbao airport

In the city almost all people, busdrivers included, were wearing the shirt of football club Atletico Bilbao. This night in Barcelona Atlecio will play againts Barcelona for the Copa del Rey.(Barcelona won). And moreover there was a kind of city run along the borders of the river Nervion. In between the crowed I could take pictures of the bus and tram.

Of course I looked already for the FEVE-railway station where my round trip will start. I bought also already the required ticket. The ticket is valid for one month and cost euro 88. This ticket, FEVE-rail’, was purchased to be flexible on stations which access was closed.

The night was passed in an hostal close to the Saint Jacob cathedral. Due to the late hour, the cathedral was closed.

I set the alarm before going to sleep as the next day I had to get up at 6.30 already!

16 kilometer walk

Monday 4th of March is the last day for the time being that I can make a day-full trip. The forecast was rain and very, very strong winds. Last day is last day. First I experienced the fast line 255 from Connexxion between Haarlem and Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA. It is not so fast due to heavy traffic and roadworks in Amstelveen. After arrival in Amsterdam Bijlmer Arena immediately with Keolis line 328 till Muiden P&R.

After ten minutes I continued with Connexxion line 320. At the busstation in Huizen I left the bus to take pictures of the buses there. The bus on which I arrived was still there. And since it was still bad weather, I boarded the same line 320 and stayed on the bus till Hilversum. Here they are taking down the big building in front of the station and the buses were stopping on a different spot.

In stead of travelling by bus I took the train to Amersfoort.

Line X80 of Syntus brought me via the villages Woudenberg en Renswoude to the railway station Veenendaal=De Klomp. But in the village Woudenberg, in front of the supermarket Hoogvliet, the locomotor(SIK) 301 was there on a piece of rail as remeberance of the time Woudenberg had rail connection.

After arriving in Veenendaal=De Klomp I saw a few Syntus buses. One of Syntus Utrecht and one of Syntus Gelderland. The first one waiting for the next ride on line 50 to Utrecht and the second one was line 5 to station Ede=Wageningen. the bus I took for the onward journey.

Syntus 1885 Veenendaal=De Klomp

In June I hope to leave for my Pelgrim walking trip to Santiago de Compostella. To do so, I need to train walking long distances. The Dutch railsways have so-called NS-wandelingen of various distances. In principle the route goes from trainstation to trainstation. There is a NS-walk between station Ede=wageningen and Wageningen via Renkum. A walk of 16 kilometers.

Before starting the walk of cours pictures and something to eat in the snackbar at the busstation.

The route is well indicated.

First through the woods parallel to the railway to Arnhem. After almost two kilometers crossing the highway A12 and the railway(just in time as when I was half way the bells started to announce a train).

And then begun the most touristic part of the walk.

At the Paradise creek

At this time for the year, you walk alone. So alone that you can do your necessities wherever and whenever you like…… .

The last part was a surprise, the Wageningse berg. There I lost my walking ritm. And after 3.5 hours I arrived at the busstation of Wageningen. A good time even thinking that I stopped here and there to take pictures, to read the route description ect.

Breng 5345 Wageningen busstation

By Syntus 50 to Rhenen railway station. Here the very last picture of the travelling cyclus was made. The Sprinter to Utrecht-Amsterdam-Uitgeest. Outside rush hour this trains goes till Breukelen and returns from there back to Rhenen.

NS SGMm 2989 Rhenen

For the time being, this is the last blog with recent stories. The next blogs will be about my adventures in the past and sometimes with some real historic bus/train pictures.

Autumn Sunday

Sunday 3 of March the weather did as was promised by the weather people. Rain and wind. So i took it easy. However, i am not the home staying type. I saw that the rain was not heavy. After eating and drinking something I left the house heading for the busstop of line 3 to the station. Here I transfered to line 300. The Schiphol Airport line. Arriva line 470 brought me in thirty minutes to Alphen a/d Rijn. Of cours, no much Arriva-buses. It was Sunday! but the various NS-buses were captured. Where to go now? Bus to Boskoop, as there were also no trains between Alphen a/d Rijn and Boskoop. But first the pictures taken in Alpen a/d Rijn.

After arriving in Boskoop the NS-R.net Flirt to Gouda was already waiting.

By this R-net train to Gouda. also here limited buses but sufficient for the pictures.The rain stopped.

Again Woerden was planned. Here at the city exit of the station a few small Syntus buses were waiting or just parked for the next day.

And at the south exit, the train replacement buses could be seen.

No more buses. Just going by Sprinter via Amsterdam to Haarlem. While waiting at the train of cours train pictures were taken.

Before going to the 1st Klas Restaurant I spent some time on taking pictures for various trains.

After a good meal back home. And it was raining again.

Going North!

Saturday 2nd of march the last Kruidvat ticket with first class upgrade was used to go the the capital of Friesland, Leeuwarden. Of cours on Satruday limited buses.

By an early train, around 7.45 I left Haarlem to the first transfer station Amsterdam and during the waiting time a few pictures form trains were taken.

the train to Alemre Centrum departed in time and arrived in time. Five minutes waiting time for the DDZ train directly to Leeuwarden.

NS ICMm 4219 to Amsterdam and NS ICMm 4230 from Amsterdam Almere Centrum

The DDZ from Almere had as destination Leeuwarden. Lucky me. Upon arrival first a few pictures of the various Arriva diesel train sets. Arriva has services from Leeuwarden to Harlingen haven, Sneek-Stavoren and Groningen

Then leaving the station to left heading for the busstation. Also Arriva starts to use electric buses here. The small e-bus 0726 is used on cityline 9.

But also the Iris-citybuses, normal diesel VDL and Qliner buses are still in use.

After one and a half hour I saw most of the buses and travelled to Heerenveen where I spent also one hour for taking pictures of buses and trains.

The next train I planned to take was almost 8 minutes behind of schedule. It took away my planned stop in Steenwijk. Three resp five minutes after arrival of the train two buses would depart from the station. If I would have disembarged in Steenwijk the buses were gone and I had to wait for one hour on the next buses. So, I continued to Amersfoort with a train-transit in Zwolle. In Amersfoort pictures were taken of the buses present on the station. And due to the cold wind I did not stayed too long.

In the train to Utrecht I read on the monitor about train replacement buses between Woerden and Leiden Centraal. So, good alternative to go there. Normally there is one bus, most of the time of the firm Verhoef. So i was surprised to see that there were two buses every time. I decided to take the bus to Leiden. there were at the time I travelled to Leiden two buses from the firm Ringelberg.

Via the stations Bodegraven, Alphen a/d Rijn and Leiden lammenschans Leiden was reached after one hour. I should have stayed for half an hour in Alphen a/d Rijn as there was enough to see and to picture. But that was too late to do so. In Leiden just two buses left to Woerden. I could take pictures of both.

Rather immediately upon arrival in Leiden I travelled back home.

Some history

I started in 1973 to be an active member of the club of people who have interest in buses and bus companies.The assocation is called Autobus Documentatie Vereniging (ADV). I was member to somewhere in the nineties of the previous decade. The ADV organized also visits to garages of buscompanies.

The first one I joined after being member was to the BBA, the Brabantse Buurtspoorwegen en Autobusdiensten. This company had routes throughout the province of Brabant. This company does not exist anymore. Nowadays buses from Arriva and Hermes are seen. All in the same color as required by the government of Brabant. On the buses not he company name is displayed but “Bravo – Brabant Vervoert Ons”.

This history blog wil be limited to the BBA only.

BBA also took over the comanpies ALAD, OT and EMA. ALAD serviced the region between Gorinchem and ‘s Hertogenbosch, OT serviced the area north-east of ‘s Hertogenbosch and EMA all villages south of Eindhoven.

Also the city servcies of Roosendaal and Bergen op Zoom plus the lines Bergen op Zoom-Tholen

BBA 352 ex Hoefnagels Roosendaal station

Fast tram 51 To Amstelveen ends

On Sunday 3 March 2019 GVB Amsterdam will stop temporary with fast tram(metro) 51 from Amsterdam to Amstelveen Westwijk. On Wednesday, the last day with nice and sunny weather, I went to the end Westwijk to take some pictures as a remembrance. Not only the line get a make over, also new tramsets will be put in service.

Valid as per 3 March

Since I was close by, I went to Uithoorn busstation as well.

De Uithof-Utrecht

I have never been in the university district De Uithof in Utrecht. But I know there one could see in rush hour many buses. Still…. Later this year especially busline 12 will be replaced by tramline 22. I still do not know if these trams will be running between IJsselstein-Nieuwegein-Utrecht-De Uithof or only between Utrecht Centraal Station and De Uithof. We will see. The moment line 22 will start the project name De Uithoflijn will disappear.

Before being their at rush hour I went to Rotterdam Centraal station to spot the train replacement buses running between Rotterdam Centraal and Schiedam. To get there I needed to travel on the HSL Amsterdam Centraal-Rotterdam Centraal.

NSR E 186 030 Rotterdam Centraal

Also the RET city buses were caught by the camera.

What you see there as well are buses servicing international bus lines like Flixbus, National Express etc.

At planned time I went with sprinter SLT 263 to Woerden where I changed to the Sprinter to Utrecht Leidsche Rijn. First time there and was surprised to see there a busstation where many city lines are passing by.

I took bus 48 to Nieuwegein. Also here a photo session of one hour. More bus than tram due to the position of the sun. Moreover I read somewhere that the VDL-buses will be replaced by electric buses. True or not I made lot of pictures of these VDL buses in Nieuwegein and later in De Uithof.

A ‘strange bird ‘was the Pouw Vervoer bus on Syntus-line 106 to Gouda.

Pouw Vervoer-Syntus 1814 Nieuwegein Stadscentrum

As mentioned after one hour I boarded line 71 to the last photostop De Uithof. Line 71 runs from Monday till Friday. Big part is on the ring-highway. In the Uithof there is a special bus lane. But the tramtrack are ready to use. At bus stop UMC, I disembarged and stayed there for half an hour taking pictures.

To use the 40% discount on the train I needed to be back at Utrecht Centraal before 16.00 hours. But I still had time to catch to Qbuzz from the DMG area.

Limburg again

Today I am a man with a mission. Heerlen is in the weeknd of 23/24 February unreachable by train.

Between Sittard/Valkenburg and Heerlen there are fast buses. Between Hoensbroek/Heerlen Woonboulevard/Kerkrade/Herzogenrath stop buses.

With a Kruivat ticket and 1st ckass upgrade I reached my first stop Sittard, On the city-side of the station the regular line-buses of Arriva can be found and on the back entrance is the departure of the fast buses.

Arriva 9175 Sittard station

By Arriva train then to Hoensbroek. The train turns here back to Heerlen. The last part must be done by bus.

In Heerlen I saw more train-replacement buses and of course manyregular Arriva buses.

From Heerlen by Arrivabus to Hoensbroek busstation.

Altough it was sunny, a cold wind was blowing. And instead of staying here for one hour, I went almost immediately with line 56 to Valkenburg.

In Valkenburg there were buses and trains. And the fastbus to Heerlen.

Next stop was Meerssen. Here I hoped to see other small neighbourhood buses.

Meerssen station building

I saw via Youtube that the neighbourhoodbus 791 from Meerssen to Margraten, change in Margraten into line 793 and ends in Eijsden. So I boarded the bus in Meerssen en stayed on it till Eijsden. Eijsden the station at the Belgium border and services by the NMBS train Luik-Maastricht.

Also the upgraded ticket is valid on this train between Eijsden and Maastricht. The train stops also at Maastricht Randwyck. In Maastricht I made a few pictures of Arriva and De Lijn buses before returning home.

And first class< I travelled the 3 hours back home

Household fair

Every year in February, the annual Houshold Fair in the RAI in Amsterdam. Many housewifes come by chartered bus. Which is good for those who take pictures of buses like me. I was able to visit the parking lot at the RAI complex during various days. Every year there are less buses. People come by their own or public transport. The railway and metro station is on walking distance. For people coming by own car, there are shuttle buses between big parking lost outside the RAI-area. These shuttle buses are coming from Pouw Vervoer and EBS. In this blog an impression of the buses seen.