London to Paris

by chris cunningham


Today’s a travel day so it should be mellow. Checked out of the hotel at noon after sitting in a Starbucks this morning. I was going to try and get to the Tate Modern this morning but decided to not rush through it this time. I’ll just have to come back. I loved the Tate Britain but the Modern wasn’t open when I was doing museum stuff before. Anyway, checked out and made our way over to Waterloo Station and then spent the last few pounds on travel snacks and magazines. (Until later I found a 20 pound note hitching a ride in my passport. Doh!) Eurostar check in was easy and got our seats on the train without a problem but the seats have a panel blocking most of the view out the window. Ha! Thanks! The train is pretty full but it is Friday so I suspect a lot of are people heading for Paris for the weekend. Train full on Friday = people going somewhere. Anytime you need someone to point out the obvious, I’m your man. Which reminds me I need to pay my yearly Mensa fee next month. Kidding.

Random thoughts: Right now we’re between London and the coast and judging by the cars on the highway beside us were cruising along at about 100 mph. Soundtrack for this trip so far has been Calexico, Gomez, Goldfrapp, Eliza Gilkyson, & George Harrison. Guess I’m kinda stuck in the G & H section on my iPod. After going out to Bath yesterday I’ve decided the next time in England I’ll skip through London and road trip around the country. Friend Barbara is moving to Salamanca so when I go visit her in Spain I think I’ll do it then. Also internet friends [] (Bonjour guys!) have a trip to Antarctica planned in January that I’m looking into going. It’s of course on the expensive side of the travel curve but what a great adventure. I have an old car I could sell that is doing nothing but collecting street cleaning parking tickets once a week AND on my insurance policy. Poor little red car, she’s been so good to me and has to sit under that tree getting sap and bird poop on her. She deserves a better life.

1:40: The train’s moving. We’re off.
2:00: Train moving slow. Houses going by. Beautiful Day.
3:00: I had my headphones on but the train just stopped at a station and Jill said they announced they’re having a problem with one of the cars. I told her she might be the problem and to get off to see if that fixed it. She said “Smartass.”
3:15: Guess we have to change trains because ours is broken.
3:26: All on the new train but the cafe car isn’t stocked. Nothing to drink or eat.
4:36: We just entered the channel tunnel and I had to update the clock to Paris time. From here on out the journal will be in french.
4:37: Ok, I don’t know how to speak french so that didn’t work out.
4:54: Announcement: “Arrive in Lille at 5:20 and then Paris at 6:20”.
4:57: Just left the tunnel. We’re in France. Bonjour. A Nutella Crepe is a mere hour and half away. I love you crepe that I’m about to eat.
5:00: I have to pee.
5:04: Dude, we’re hauling ass now! High speed trains kick ass. Ooooo… 5:04pm. Time the earthquake hit San Francisco in 1989. Anytime I see 5:04 I think about it.
5:17: Awwww… a little french church just went by.
5:18: The U.S. is out of the World Cup. The World Cup trophy looks like the “War of the Worlds” movie poster. Google them.
5:19: We’re slowing down. Must be Lille. That’s a nice name.
5:25: Stopped. Now moving again, bye Lille. Nice seeing you.
5:35: Have to pee.
5:40: Went to dining car to look out the window. Shot some video. Romantic couple in the corner are making out. Can see them in the reflection of the video.
6:04: Slowing down, probably coming into Paris.
6:07: Back to full speed. Maybe the driver was sight seeing.
6:08: Train went by on other track. Combined impact speed about 360 miles a hour. Just sayin’.
6:13: Kinda bored. Nothing but really blurry green trees flying by the windows. Like in Willy Wonka where he takes them on the boat on that crazy river.
6:19: Just remembered I watched King Kong on the plane 3 times in a row. That was dreadful but it made 9 hours go by.
6:22: We were supposed to arrive in Paris by now. Still at full speed. Maybe the train’s broken and we’re going to crash into Gare du Nord.
6:24: Announcement: “Very sorry for the delay we are offering you a free one way ticket redeemable on your next trip with us”. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!! You’re kidding me?! Awesome! How weird. Guess I’m coming back!
6:26: Train is really slowing down now.
6:29: PASSING HOUSES NOW. Oooops caps lock was on. Who cares! Free ticket!
6:32: Announcement: “Welcome to Paris. We are at Gare du Nord… thank you blah blah blah…. Apologies all around…”
6:33: We’re here! Paris!