Monday, January 22, 2018

Monday 22 January - Eurostar Paris to London

It was raining very heavily indeed when we left the apartment this morning.  We left in good time and, of course, both line 2 at Villiers and line 4 at Barbes Rochechouart, were running in as we arrived on the platform.  In fact the longest we had to wait for a metro train for the entire trip was 6 minutes. The normal exits out of the metro at Gare du Nord were blocked and we had to go out with our bags to the forecourt and back into the station - getting wet.

If only SNCF would learn from the Swiss.  Our train was ready for us but we had to wait a long time and then there was a mad rush to get to our assigned seats before the departure time. In the end the train left 5 minutes late and arrived in St. Pancras five minutes late. We encountered a very heavy rain storm just after leaving Gare du Nord but most of the trip through France was under heavy cloud but no rain.

The trip though the tunnel was the usual 25 minutes of boredom and then we burst out into bright sunshine in Kent.  It clouded over a bit as we approached London but it was at least dry. We had one of the old Eurostar trains (#3015) which are being scrapped when replaced by newer ones. The reason for this is that we had to stop at Ashford which has the older form of signalling which is not installed in the newer units.

At St. Pancras we ran the gauntlet of the British Police who make everybody walk through a chicane where ten grim faced individuals inspected us.  From there we went to Kings Cross to have a drink and a meal at The Parcel Yard.  This was looking pretty grotty and the food was nothing to write home about. 

The Piccadilly line took us to Gloucester Road where we checked in quickly to the Gloucester Millennium Hotel.

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