This morning I am taking a train to the Saarland, that little corner of Germany tucked in between France and Luxembourg. After that we move on to Paris for a few days and, who knows, we might pass the route I took on a rickety old bus during sixth form college between Leyland and Florence. That was a long journey, sitting two rows from the back and drinking vodka mixed with warm, flat orangeade with the cool kids from foundation art… Some of us studying History had somehow tagged a ride on this little tour to Tuscany, and whilst the Art students spent their days wandering from one gallery to the next, the rest of us were pretty much free to explore the streets of Florence and see what kind of mischief we could get up to.
We were pretty well behaved. This song was part of my soundtrack of that coach journey, and I can distinctly remember sitting on the bus at the Swiss border as rain hammered against the window listening to Glory Box, knowing that we were about to travel through some of the most spectacular scenery in Europe and that we would see absolutely none of it because it was the middle of the night. This is a theme of my travels, as I also managed to take a night bus from Dubrovnik to Trieste along the legendary Jadranska Magistrala – the Dalmatian coastal road – a journey that I now know to be one of the truly great road trips anywhere in the world. I have travelled it since, but the first time I did it I was sitting bolt upright in an uncomfortable seat, only darkness beyond the window, watching Rocky I, II, III and IV dubbed into Croatian as the night passed agonisingly slowly.
New posts might be a bit sporadic whilst I am away, but I will see what I can do – Paul.