It’s been a long time since I travelled by National Express before, in fact, the Divine Comedy wrote the song. Anyway, eldests pen pal from France has been over via Eurolines and so, yesterday found us at Victoria Coach station waiting for the 11pm to Lille. Having passed all the ice-cream statuettes that the ‘eldest’ assured me were supposed to be representations of the Olympic Torch and also Harrods lit up like a ‘pimps palace’ – (but fetchingly so).
I was glad to discover Victoria Coach Station has smartened up since my coach travelling days with lots of friendly help on hand should it be needed. There is an innate camaraderie amongst travellers, a shared understanding of rigour and challenge and also of adventure and promise, so amidst all the sleepy people converging on the eurolines concourse with a diverting assortment of wheelie suitcases and backpacks there was an underlying excitement, but for lack of ID I was a heartbeat from booking passage to Paris and consequences be damned! Our guest ‘Flo’ departed on Excalibur into the London night bound for Dover and beyond, a window seat and eclectic mix of fellow passengers. We left buzzing from the adrenalin that accompanies long journeys, correct departures, and enjoyed a leisurely exit out of ‘the smoke’ along the embankment past Chelsea Bridge, enjoying all the light pollution.