Yesterday, for the first time since the mid 80’s I took a bus into town (Dublin City). The reason for my journey was to meet up with fellow bloggers Brigid from Sort of Writing, Ann from Inkpot and Quills and Theresa from Substitute Teacher’s Saga. We had coffee, scones and lots of chat and laughter in the Avoca Café on Suffolk Street – where they really should not transport fish in the only lift in the building. But smelly lift aside it was a lovely way to pass a sunny morning in Dublin. However I digress.. this post is about the bus.

Back in the 80’s, when I last took the bus into town, it was a rough and very basic way to travel. 80’s buses never looked that hygienic or clean. They rattled and chugged their way along and I remember regular break downs.

I do remember that back then, back seats were to be avoided at all costs being positioned directly over the engine which always seemed to be straining at the very limit of it’s capability. This resulted in a fume filled rear section where nausea was likely to overtake one after a couple of miles. Travelling on the back seats also was usually and worryingly very hot. I was never on a bus that spontaneously burst into flames but on many journeys that eventuality did seem to be imminent. 80’s buses also usually had dirty windows and, of course, the fug of cigarette smoke upstairs which made locating your destination somewhat difficult.

What a difference a mere 25 years had made! The first big change is that now bus stops have names. In the 80’s your stop was known as Stage 10 or whatever. But now the wise folks at Dublin Bus have christened all the stops and I am very proud to say that my local bus stop is called Monaloe Corner – how poetic is that? I almost expected Tigger and Winnie the Pooh to come bouncing and ambling along at any moment as I waited for my carriage into town.

And I didn’t have long to wait. After about ten minutes at Monaloe Corner and with an elegant ‘whoosh’ sound, my bus glided to a stop. Gone is the big step up (or was it two steps), which made boarding the 80’s bus difficult especially if one had been for a drink or three after work. No, 21st century Dublin Buses are flush with the pavement with lovely wide doors, presumably making them wheelchair accessible.

Gone was the graffiti and grimy interior. My bus was bright and cheerful and decked out in corporate coloured upholstery. There was a dedicated space for standing passengers, a huge improvement of the 80’s arrangement of standing in the door well of the second door half way down the bus where one always felt a bit vulnerable should the driver inadvertently open the wrong door! There is even a luggage hold on Dublin Bus – which in the 80’s was only found on the coach that took you from your aircraft to the terminal building at the Airport.

So – Dublin Bus – this post if for you. Take a bow. Efficient service, clean and comfortable vehicles. I was most impressed. I can’t wait for an excuse to go into town again!