I realise that I have spent quite a lot of time in bunk beds lately. Now I know for some people this is probably the norm––large families with kids sharing bedrooms; those staying at the hospitality of Her Majesty’s pleasure––but for me it is a circumstance out of the ordinary. And, as such, affords me a level of pleasure out of proportion to the actual comfort––or sometimes discomfort–– of the experience.
When it comes to bunk etiquette, my philosophy is the same as my philosophy with all other aspects of my life: I like to be on top.
Bunk #1: the Caledonian Sleeper from London up to Scotland. This was a genuine surprise and delight. A neat, perfectly roomy compartment with one bunk bed suitable for sleeping two people; well designed with plenty of storage facilities; positively luxurious monogrammed bed linen; a wash basin; a complimentary eye-mask; and the option of having a bacon roll and a cup of coffee delivered to your cabin first thing in the morning. Heaven!
Bunk #2: Loch Ossian Youth Hostel. The female dormitory comprised four wooden bunk beds, to sleep a total of eight, although on the days that I stayed there less than half of the beds were occupied. Thick duvets, and the most idyllic view from the top bunk, looking out of the window directly onto the icy loch and the snow-covered Highland peaks.
Bunk #3: HMY Britannia. These three-up bunks I never actually slept on, reserved as they had been for the officer classes, but they had a surprisingly cosy appeal, and had clearly been maintained to a Navy level of spick-and-span. And I always think a solar topee makes the perfect bedtime accoutrement.
© E. C. Glendenny
Travel writer, E. C. “Easy” Glendenny, enjoys a well-deserved rest.