Well I'm now in London but it's a bit too early to blog on that. So I want to reflect on my trip from Paris which was pretty darn lovely and surprisingly quick.
My hosts in Paris, lovely as they were, did have a tendancy to make things a drama. On the final day in Paris, I let them know I would not need breakfast the next day but would like a taxi. No problem they assured and I went about my day. However, by the time I got home, there was a problem. They talked to me in very quick French about something with the booking which involved SMS, but I just could not get to the bottom of it. No matter how hard I tried, I could not make any progress in understanding what it is that they were trying to say. After some fluffing about Francios pulled up another site on this iPad and went through the booking process. Alarm at the name and cellphone number request, I put in my details. The price was 45 Euros! He had gone to some premium business transport site. By this point I was exhausted and just wanted to know I could get to Gare du Nord on time. So I went with it.
The next morning I was a bit apprehensive that the taxi might not appear. I had had to prepay and I had no idea what I was going to so if they did not show up. However it did and I got to the train station on time. Much relief as I exited the taxi.
I came over to "Blighty" on Eurostar and I have to say I am so pleased I did. The check-in process at Gare du Nord was easy and quick. I had my ticket so was able to go straight to immigration and customs. Immigration was simple although I will say that the British immigration staff are a lot less friendly than those in the Netherlands. Customs was a slight hiccup. One of my bags showed something odd on the X-Ray. The guy was so lovely and carefully went through my bag. They could not find it though. More of a search, still nothing. Finally, they found the offending article, a roll of 50c Euro coins which I had been given in change by a pissed of women in a cafe in Amsterdam.
Boarding the train was a breeze and the general service on Eurostar is great. Plenty of room and I even had two seats to myself. Boy that puppy flies along. It's a damn fast train! The dining car is fun too, lost of space to stand and great windows to take in the view as the world hurtles by. The channel tunnel itself was surprisingly short. I was astonished when we emerged in the U.K. Before I knew it I was in London and meeting my lovely friend Michele. My only negative comment on Eurostar was the carriages are looking tired inside. The upholstery is wearing and ther were a few broken arm rests. That said, I am looking forward to my trip back on Saturday, but I don't want to leave London either.