A few weekends ago I decided to take a trip up to Edinburgh with a couple of friends. Rather than shell out £100 for a train, we decided to purchase tickets for the Megabus.
The funny thing with Edinburgh is that everyone will tell you how lovely the place is, how splendid the views are, how quaint Old Town is, but everyone keeps you woefully in the dark about how they got there. If they were traveling from London Town they either sat on a train for four hours or a bus for 10.
You read that last bit correctly. Ten whopping hours.
What could have been a lovely 10 hour drive up a concrete wasteland known as the A1 was anything but. I’d say that this was the ride from Hell, but from what I hear, Hell is a heck of a lot warmer.
The bus driver must have come down with something because he cranked the air conditioning up so high that my knee-length puffer jacket did as much good as a thin sweater.
Things didn’t improve much from there.
Somewhere along our journey the bus picked up two guys who couldn’t have been more than 22 years old. Unfortunately, one of them plopped down on the seat next to me and started scrolling through the worst playlist ever. How do I know it was the worst playlist ever? Because his iPod was cranked so loudly I could hear every auto-tuned vocal streaming out of it.
Sure, I knew I’d run into a few Directioners (One Direction fans) during my time here in London, but I never expected a 22-year-old male to be among them.
Which also brings me to the following: If the song’s sound isn’t improving the louder it is, then why are you turning it up?
The rule with One Direction is this: if only your dog can hear it, excellent, that’s the volume it needs to remain at. Sorry Fido.
Thank goodness I had a weekend in Edinburgh at the end of this.
Edinburgh really is a lovely city. You’ve got this wonderfully unique skyline with Edinburgh Castle rising out of Old Town. The hills serve as the perfect backdrop for a city clinging to its medieval past. Even the graveyards are picturesque, eery, but still rather peaceful.
Our first afternoon there we spent some time wandering through Greyfriar’s Graveyard. So much time in fact that we caught the attention of a carpenter who was working at the edge of the graveyard.
Aware of how suspicious we looked, we decided to admit that we were searching for Tom Riddle’s grave.
Tom Riddle is the main antagonist of the Harry Potter series. Author J.K. Rowling found the inspiration for his name in Greyfriar’s Graveyard. How about explaining that one to the real Riddle family, Ms. Rowling? Awkward.
After listening to this Scottish carpenter yammer on about his work and how we couldn’t leave his country without seeing the Highlands, we got him to reveal where Riddle’s tombstone was. Safe to say, we never would have found it on our own.
Two days later we were back on a bus to London. The return journey was just as miserable.
This time we were forced to listen to a group of 30-year-old men try to convince the driver to let them off the bus to smoke. At first it was rather hilarious seeing the driver wave to them through the glass, his feet on the asphalt of some random gas station, cigarette poking out of his mouth. When it came around to the driver’s second cigarette break, the hilarity had worn off. These men sounded like a bunch of whiny children. We wanted nothing more for the driver to let them off the bus, board the bus himself and drive off. Let them figure out how to get home.
Would I visit Edinburgh again? Definitely. Would I take a Megabus? Nah. I’d rather walk.