Posts Tagged ‘Eurostar’


 6 July 2017


Eurostar French countryside

Sitting in the middle of the English Channel, somewhere along its 50km length and at 70 meters below the surface in places never fails to impress me.  Having been on the Eurostar some half a dozen times has still not diminished my amazement at the feat of engineering achieved by two countries that still despise each other.

We spent a whole day riding the trains and underground, popping up to get our bearings periodically like a couple of Meerkats.  We were on a mission and the holy shrine was the triangle that Oxford, Regent and Bond streets form, and all the shops they attract.  My phone nearly overheated, screaming at me to slow down, I had done that day’s and most of tomorrow’s steps….by lunch time.  I spent the day following V, but looking for seats in woman’s frock shops as she stroked and ohhh’d and ahhhh’d at all of it.  I met some lovely people and often offered sartorial advice to anyone standing in front of a mirror looking undecided.  It was the least I could do.  V has stopped counting how many new tops she has adopted….it is easier that way apparently.  I have 3 or 4 new ones myself.  I think I’m all but done now. I spent a glorious half an hour with an old chap sitting in his wife’s wheelchair in M&S.  His wife has a miracle each time she enters a clothing shop and is able to hobble around the racks with a youthful spring in her step he told me.  He then finds a corner, sits in the wheelchair and offers advice.  It was a joy to listen to an 80 year old expert in shopping

We have finished our English leg of this odyssey and now are embarking on 4 days in Paris doing Parisian things but without the terrorist twist hopefully. Then on Sunday we head south a few hours to our holiday house that we booked in the middle of French woop woopland.

In preparation, we went visiting Sarah last night and had a repast of cheeses, pates, baguette, charcuterie and wine.  We all passed with flying colours and feel suitably ready for the next phase of our sojourn. Practice makes perfect. Driving out to Sevenoaks, required a very English country journey past towns called Badger Mount and Pratts Bottom. I found them childishly amusing.

We are in carriage 1, First Class I might add on this 10:42 to Paris.  Unfortunately, carriage 1 is the last carriage going when going this way so required a 200 meter walk along the platform to reach our seats.  What’s the bet it will be the opposite on the return….going the other way but still at the back. They are a lovely sort of person in First Class…V is very much at home. 5 minutes after leaving we were delivered a breakfast including a croissant and coffee served by our own French crew.  I felt a Bonjour was in order even if we were still in England.  No sign of the refugees trying to jump the channel illegally.  Funny that burning the camp and building higher fences seems to have shifted the problem from Calais. We didn’t see any evidence of them a couple of weeks ago either when we made our mercy dash to Champagne. Problem dealt with I’m thinking.

We are staying in the Latin Quarter of Paris; the 5th arrondissment for those that know the place well.  Very close to the Notre Dame and also the largest Mosque in town. We are not looking for action, but it might be closer than we booked!

We decided on a K&V walkabout, heading for Notre Dame.  In 40o heat, this was silly as it involved many wrong turns and ‘track-backs’.  We stumbled on a rugby shop selling Chiefs gear for €59, the giant Pantheon and numerous gift shops selling the same as the shop either side of it but they all had to be visited and investigated… just in case.  We also managed to book a couple of tours so our few days are now fairly chocka full of all things art and culture, leaving the gastronomy tours for another time like next week.  We fished our walk with a nice dinner at the Bistro around the corner where rude waiters and diners alike made for an educative if not enjoyable evening repast.  It is nearly 11pm, only just gone dark and currently 26oC.

Au revoir et bonjournee

V and Me (Jean Pierre)