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I do enjoy a good bus journey, and I’ve had a few. I should be clear here, I’m not talking about the short haul buses; your trip to the shops or to school. I’m talking long haul, crossing borders, climbing over sleeping bodies, war of attrition, go to the toilet if you dare, kind of trips. There were quite a few of these trips when I was younger. I since suspect my school, and everyone around me at that age, was forcing other cities and cultures on to me like a big billboard.
‘There is more than this town’
I should also point out that I am originally from the UK, so any long haul bus journey required a trip over some water. After a long trip to Germany, the next trip was skiing in the Alps. The Alps, the Italian Alps. That is north England, to northern Italy, by bus. It took us 27 hours. Naturally being 16 and
naive excited about the bus journey, we made it down to Dover, and decided we would get drunk on the ferry to France, which we did. Smart.
I don’t know what the ideal place for a hangover is; maybe sat in a beautiful bath over looking the countryside with fresh air flowing through the window, as well as some soothing music playing in the background. Or maybe you enjoy laying on the couch with loads of water and a rubbish movie. You could even be one of those
unnatural people who goes for a run.
I was doing none of those things. I was on a bus full of teenagers, farts holding in the dense muggy air, no water and Michael asleep on my shoulder, a decimated toilet and winding french country roads. Overall, I’d go so far as to say it was not my ideal hangover scenario.
Then there was the bus trip from northern Germany to east Austria, in which I had a Romanian listing all the famous Romanians he knew. That was despite me showing, on numerous occasions, the international signal for ‘stop talking to me and go away’ (putting my earphones in… and punching him repeatedly in the face*).
I do love it though, there is something about a bus journey; the travel, the movement and zero responsibility. I suppose you could also count the new things that await when you arrive. Although I often feel my heart sink a little when I have to get off a bus. I always look back with a knowing smile, as I walk away.
‘we really did it, be free now’.
Today was another bus day, I’d say mid haul? Middle haul? Not-as-long-as-long-haul-haul? OK, we jumped on a bus to Maribor, Slovenia. That is about 4 hours of bus time. My girlfriend did forget her passport, but don’t fret British readers, one of the benefits of being in the European Union is that there are no borders, and we have free movement of people [Enter cheesy smile with ‘ding’ sound here]. So no passport was needed.
It truly was a wonderful journey though, even if it wasn’t quite my preferred distance. Austria is such a beautiful country – Slovenia as well for that matter. Although one thing which we did notice on arrival into Slovenia is that there were fires everywhere. Controlled fires, but fires never the less. Literally saw 10 or 11 of them. If anyone has better Slovenian knowledge than me, or access to Google and some motivation, let me know why that might be.
*didn’t do the second part, which, if anything, shows true strength of character.