イギリス旅行記〜最悪だったロンドン⇔リバプール間の往復夜行バス〜

旅の時間と宿泊費用を節約するため、リバプールへは往復夜行バスで行ってみようとプランを立てました。

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日曜日の夜にロンドンを出発し、月曜日の早朝リバプール着。ゆっくりと朝食を食べて観光しつつ丸一日ショッピングに充てて夜にコンサート。そしてまた夜行バスでロンドンに戻る、と。

バスはきっと辛いだろうから寝台列車なんてないのかなと調べましたが、案外近くて列車だと2時間ちょっと。旅費は半分で済むし初体験だし夜行バスにしてみよう!と安易に考えたのが後で後悔する訳ですが…。

 

イギリスでは長距離バスのことをCoachと呼びます。National Expressがこの長距離路線の80%ほど(私の見た目)を牛耳っていています。

深夜0時前にロンドンビクトリアにあるコーチステーションを出発。2

さて、乗ってみてびっくり。左右2人がけで真ん中に通路があり15~20列あるのですが、イスは固く、リクライニングにしても私のやり方が悪いのか自然にまたまっすぐに戻ってしまう。眠気もあるので最初の1~2時間は寝ることができたのですが、一度起きてしまうともう寝れない。

席は自由でかろうじて隣には誰も来ず、その2席を占領することはできたのですが、何が辛いって道路の舗装の悪さ!

ずっと高速道路を走っているばかりではなく、途中の都市に寄りながら最終目的地に行くんです。なので高速道路を下りて各地のコーチステーションに向かうため市街地を走ることも多々あるわけですが、スピードを下げさせるため道路に凹凸をつけている場所があるんです。

そこを通ったり、路側帯や凹凸がある中央線などを通ったりすることもあるのでその度にガガガガガ…バウンバウンてな感じで揺れるわ跳ねるわ。窓を枕に頭をつけてなど到底無理な話で頭を強く打ちつけて終わりです。夜行バスですが寝るためのバスではないという感じ。1

結構大きなバスなんですが、バスも斜めになってるんじゃないの?と思うくらいスピードを出してカーブを曲がることもありました。

結局寝つけず到着し、半日は死んだようにぐったりしてしまい動くことも出来ず時間を無駄にし、それならばロンドンへもう一泊して朝電車で行けば良かったと後悔したのでした。

そして更に後悔は続きます。だって帰りも夜行バスなんですもの。

帰りは更に悲惨。直行便は満席だからと私が取った予約は途中バーミンガムで降ろされ、真夜中のコーチステーション(改装されてピカピカでした!)で午前5時のバスまで待たされてから帰るようになっていたのです。

ある意味動かないコーチステーションで寝る方が眠れると思いますが、さすがに待合室でグーグー寝るのは危険です。バッグを膝に抱きながらウトウト程度におさめつつ、色々なことを考えながら「ああ、私はイギリスにいるのだなあ」と感慨深く思いました。

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    ABOUTこの記事をかいた人

    marimarin

    大好きなミュージシャンがいるイギリスに行きたくて、アルバイトをしてお金を貯めてその地を踏んでからもううん十年。 結婚して子供もいてなかなか思い通りにはなりませんが、それでも数年ごとにイギリス旅行を満喫しています。 現地にはイギリス人の友達もいて、異文化も楽しみながら新しいイギリスを発見しています。 イギリスでの楽しかったこと、苦しかったこと、あり得ない体験談、役に立つ情報などをお届けしたいと思っています。 夢はいつか移住をすることです!