Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Day 35: Travel Day

I bid good bye to Paris today and as I made my last walk down Boulevard St. Michel, I walked slower than my normal pace, as if I were dragging my feet. Or it could have been because I had acquired a few items in Paris that made my backpack heavier. But I did enjoy my time there, I enjoyed the sights, the sounds, although I could have done without the constant pee smell. 

The Chunnel had been shut down yesterday because of a workers strike, but I hoped it would be ok today.

I got to Gare Nord on time but the "Londres Hall" where you have to go to take the Eurostar to go to London was packed! The people who were delayed from yesterday also can on the train today. Because there was so many people, the line to check in was stretching to down the up escalator and down to the main floor. There was one man only who was sort of the information officer and when people would ask him if this was the line for the 910a train, he would say yes, then assure the people that they just stand there and not have to walk to the end of the line.

I noticed some people flinching at that, but I seem to have absorbed his Gallic shrug because I wasn't the least bit annoyed by it as I might have been previously. I still didn't like the pushing and the shoving, the jumping in line but I mentally shrug.

The Eurostar was crowded but I got lucky and had a nice solo seat by the window. Why only the business class got free wifi, I don't know. But I always thought 1st class trumped business class. But as I've learned in these travels, this is Europe.

I fell asleep, just exhausted, I drooled, odd that I'm doing that now. Perhaps the length of this holiday has taken a greater toll on me than I realize. Between the heat, not only of the weather but when you cram a lot of people into a small space, it's like a convection oven, the heat goes round and round.

I fell asleep when we were entering the Chunnel, so I couldn't tell you how long it was, I don't remember my ears popping as it did when I road the bullet trains in China when they hit a tunnel. But before I knew it, we were pulling into St Pancras station in London.

St Pancras had an area showing off the departure schedule to the rest of the UK. It was cool, giant wall and a bunch of people looking up. 

I stood in line to get  ticket for one station. It was literally the next station from St Pancras. I could have walked to Euston station according to my GPS on my phone. But it was very hot and a heavy pack on my back wasn't helpful. So I found Kings Cross and stood in line to buy a ticket for the underground. Instead I bought the wrong kind of ticket, I bought a bus & tram card. 

So I had to go stand in line at the ticket office which only had two people working for a line of at least 30 people. But I had to change my ticket, and I also saved myself 20 pence. 

I eventually got on the right train, but not before my ankle decided it didn't like me anymore, it actually crumpled as I was placing weight on it while I was walking down the stairs to Euston station.

So with ankle throbbing, throat drying up. I ended in Euston station where everyone looks like they are all waiting for a train.

Another waiting game. Today was nothing but hurry up and wait. I found a seat to save my seat, but when an elderly woman came by and stood before me, I have up my seat to here.

Then the notice for the platform information was unbelievably short. Despite the PA having said over & over, do not run for the platforms at Euston Station, people run.

Then the train car I was in was barely blowing cold air on us. So for 5hours I sat uncomfortably in a warm coach to Glasgow.

It too was packed. I didn't know Scotland was such a tourist haven. But I made it, I always do and now I'm so tired my eyes are crossing as I type this on my iPhone.

So as try as I might, this is actually a short post.

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