When I think of acceptable ways to travel long distances in the 21st century, the overnight bus doesn’t really feature in a list that I would write. However, the only way to travel back from London (without paying ridiculous amounts of £) in order for Mr B to be at work on Sunday after a wedding seemed to be via megabus.com.
I should say here that I have married someone who is a big fan of taking overnight bus journeys. A few years ago Mr B journied up to Scotland on the friday night overnight bus, watched a football match on the Saturday afternoon (to his credit, it was his team playing, and winning the Scottish cup final) and then getting the overnight bus BACK down to London afterwards. Crazy boy. He also has a quite marvellous ability to be able to fall asleep very quickly while sitting up, which is a very helpful quality to have when embarking on an overnight bus.
I should also say that I have undertaken an overnight bus before. It was in June 2011 for Mr B’s birthday, from London to Glasgow. The one positive from getting absolutely no sleep (and no apparent leg room either) even with props (ear plugs, neck pillow, blanket) was that I saw an amazing sunrise somewhere over the Lake District.
This time round I was feeling more hopeful and determined to improve my sleep record. We turned up at Victoria station well before our departure time, and looked in horror as there were well over a bus load of people already waiting at our gate. Fortunately megabus had decided to run another bus via Glasgow, with the bus we were getting on going straight to Edinburgh with just a pit stop for refreshment/loo stop somewhere near Sheffield. However due to some Olympic lane painting saga, our bus (and others) were delayed in arriving to London for 2 hours, so by just after midnight you can imagine how I and most other people were feeling (grumpy). There were some moments of amusement though – one being the automatic announcement at midnight saying that the bus station was closing and that all people had to vacate the building. Try telling that to 300 or so people who were waiting for coaches.
Once on the bus, we were able to relax and watch the bright lights of London flash by as we travelled up Park Lane, Oxford Street and up Edgeware Road. The sight of people still eating and drinking into the early hours made me sad and definitely not want to be on a bus. However, I realised that I needed to sleep, and ironically I hadn’t packed any of the above props used in my last journey to assist me in my quest. Instead, I decided to employ Mr B’s tactic of becoming a human coat rack, and simply hung my hoodie over my head and wrapped it round me. It worked! Well, it kind of worked. I must have had at least 10 episodes of 20 – 30 minutes of sleep before I woke up feeling claustrophobic, working out where we were, and re-hanging my hoodie over my head andre-trying to sleep.
Joyous times on the overnight bus – thankfully for our next two trips to London we are back to travelling by train and plane!