Edinburgh by coach from Brighton. A 4am start and a 15 hour journey, door to door. Ok let me explain my choice for transportation for this city break.
I could have got a train (half the time) or flown (a 10th of the time) but no, I chose the coach. A choice that most people don't make, if they can afford a bit of extra cash. And while I'm not exactly rolling in it, I probably could have splashed out a bit more than the mere £30 return the coach costs (which is a ludicrous bargain my mind is still boggling over.)
No, my reasoning was: I actually wanted to go on a coach trip.
I see these National Express coaches coasting up the - er - coast on a daily basis, and they always look so big and exotic... and convenient: no hauling myself through airport security, or switching trains in London. The coach stop is less than 10 mins walk from my house, and leaves you in the heart of Edinburgh... just, 15 hours later.
So, much to all my friend's dismay, I opted for my coach journey.
The early start - yes, 4am - wasn't too hard for me. It was only an hour or so earlier than usual - yes, I'm that person - plus I like early starts if I'm going on holiday. It reminds me of the one big family holiday we went on. I was 6, we drove to Italy (ahh now I understand why I'm a sucker for a long uncomfortable journey) and we had to wake up at 3am I think. I ate my rice krispies too fast and puked in the car.
OK so, coach!
It was 2 hours to London Victoria, on a very quiet, fairly comfy, air conditioned coach. Then there was an hour wait at the Victoria coach station, which is a bit of a hell hole, but I was happy enough with my oat milk cappuccino (word to the wise, there's a Pret a Manger, Cafe Nerro - my choice - and a Starbucks at the coach station. But I'd definitely recommend bringing your own food - the one food shop there is ludicrously overpriced and understocked.)
Then at 8am, I was on the coach. Yes, time went slowly. I alternated between writing my book, listening to podcasts, reading The Untethered Soul and staring out the window. I really do get my best ideas when I'm on transport.
Somehow, I survived. There was a stop in Leeds, which was a bit depressing - like I said, coach stations just aren't glam places to hang out - and I had a little Chinese boy next to me for the rest of the journey. He entertained me, patting his brother on the shoulder to get him to turn around, then giving him the finger. Smart kid.
I got a taxi to my Airbnb, because, rain. Ahh rain - this was another reason I was determined to come to Scotland this summer. I really wanted a break from the heat down south - and I got it! Very satisfying, knowing it was 10 degrees cooler where I was - a much more temperate climate for gingers, I believe.
Ok so my Airbnb was lovely, one of the sweetest hosts I've ever met, though that night I basically zonked out shortly after arriving because coach travel - somehow - is tiring.