As you all may be aware if you follow my blog, I currently live in Manchester – which is a nearly a 350 kilometer drive from Central London.
Last weekend, I decided it would be an absolutely brilliant idea to go to London for the day to visit a friend. I have done the journey there and back in a day before, by coach, and I swore blindly to myself that I would NEVER do it again..but here I was, doing it again. Typical Jonny, who doesn’t learn from his mistakes.
Any normal person in my position would have taken the high-speed train which takes approximately 2 hours direct from Manchester (£44 return) – but because I’m such a tight wad, I opted to take the National Express coach service (£10 return) taking approximately 4 hours each way. I mean, I’m not being funny, but I’ve flown to Gran Canaria and back, which is over two thousand kilometers away, for less than the cost of the train to London. What kind of sick joke is that?
Anyway, 7am on Sunday morning, I was in a relatively good mood. I was up and ready and at the local coach station for 8.45am – feeling nice and relaxed, albeit with a slight headache from the bottle of wine I had drunk the night before, but nothing I couldn’t handle. (The clocks had gone backwards one hour in England the night before so I got an extra hours sleep.) I boarded the empty coach and carefully selected a seat 3 rows from the back of the coach before starting the journey towards the big smoke. All was well and good, until arriving at the next pick-up point.
Hoards of people descended on the bus scrabbling for seats like feeding time at the zoo. Screaming children, crazy people talking to themselves, people trying to cram their luggage in every nook and cranny. A group of African people filled up the back 2 rows blasting out what I can only describe as banjo music from a portable speaker, and every time somebody opened the toilet door it filled the whole coach with a smell of rancid curry. What are these people eating!? This is exactly the reason I swore to myself I would never take the coach again. Also, has anyone ever used a coach toilet when travelling down a motorway at 70 miles an hour? I honestly thought I was going to die.
For 3 more hours I had to endure the banjo music, screaming children, which was only making my headache worse, and rancid curry smell, until we finally pulled up into London Victoria station and I stepped off the coach, taking in a huge breath of fresh air. Finally.. I was free… for a few hours at least.
A few hours later, It was time to board the hell coach back to Manchester. There had been a crash on the M1, so we had to take a detour down the A roads to try to avoid the traffic – obviously adding extra time onto the journey. It was super foggy and I couldn’t see anything out of the window, so I spent the next 5 hours trying to avoid eye contact with the couple on the row opposite me who were practically dry humping each other like their lives depended on it. If I didn’t feel sick because of the movements of the coach, I definitely did now. I mean come on, could you not at least wait a few hours until you got home to get frisky? GET A ROOM. I’d take the banjo music over this any day. On the bright side, the toilet didn’t stink out the whole coach and there were no screaming kids this time.
I arrived home exhausted, and passed out after being out and about for nearly 14 hours.
Never again am I gonna take the coach to London for the day, and this time I mean it. Next time I am definitely, maybe, taking the train..
Ever had an awful journey? Share in the comments below, I’d love to hear them!