Bus in Moscow

In 1967 I was a student who, through a friend of mine, took part in a trip behind what was then "the Iron Curtain". My friend's wife was a student at Manchester, studying Russian, & wanted to travel to Russia. She had no money & worked out that the cheapest way to do it was to organise a student trip going there and this could be done by us all buying places, which included the purchase of a double-decker bus, which would be our mode of transport. 2 engineering students at Manchester, who were to be the drivers of the bus, were dispatched to buy a bus, which they did from a specialist scrap yard. They chose what was known as a "country bus" as it was a bit lower than normal double-deckers, having a sunken walk-way & long bench seats on the top deck. Our route was plotted by the AA to avoid low bridges [they only got it wrong once - which took a chunk out of the top near-side corner of the bus!] & was made easier by the slightly lower than normal double-decker. We travelled for 6 weeks, visiting Poland, Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union, Hungary & East Germany en route. We stayed in hostels & camp sites, often escorted by a "guide" whose job it was to keep us under control. This was the case in the Soviet Union, where we were for 3 weeks of the trip. It was a bit like Summer Holiday only more dishevelled & argumentative. One of the high spots, of course, was Red Square, where we parked in front of St Basil's & sang folk-songs. An Englishman approached and was very friendly & curious about the bus, which he'd heard about from Russian friends [we were a hot news item for a few days] and was gobsmacked to find that it was the very bus on which he'd been a conductor for many years, on a route between Liverpool & North Wales. I forget why he was in Moscow, because I was so taken with the coincidence. Jenny
Total votes: 321
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:10:37 +0000Coincidence ID:3637