Yesterday, I departed Paris on the Eurostar Train or the “Chunnel” as locals like to call it, to travel to London for my Blogtour London Event. The chunnel was uber chic! Such easy travel. The only word of caution, if you take the train is to watch for the pickpockets in the terminal. Often they act as people who want to petition you. The gig is while they petition, their accomplice is picking your pocket. If they ask if you speak English, shake your head “no”. Don’t speak or you will give yourself away. Once you motion no, they leave you alone because they know you are on to them. Once I got past them, I had to ride the elevator upstairs to find the check in point for Eurostar to London. It was quite easy to find, but what my concierge didn’t tell me what to be prepared to fill out the necessary paperwork complete with your travel plans and address for your stay where you are going. It’s a little awkward when you are not only watching your bags, but digging in your tote to find address, etc.
If you travel by train in Europe, have that info handy so you don’t waste time. I would also recommend leaving your hotel at least 30 -45 minutes ahead of what the concierge suggests. They are accustom to the process, so they don’t allow for those of us who aren’t. I had just enough time to get to my terminal and board. Click title to continue!
When our train was called to board, there was a massive scurry to get to the cars. Each train car is individually marked and as you descend to the platform, there is a diagram showing where you are landing, so you know where to go . It’s really easy to find your car. Once there you are responsible for lifting your own bags onto the train and storing them in the racks. This was when I was wishing I had a backpack! This is also why people tell you to travel light in Europe. The man behind me was most disgusted with my two bags, which were a medium size suitcase and a small duffle! Actually, quite compact for the way I typically travel. The onlooker rolled is eyes and didn’t offer to help. I did however, help the young woman ahead of me, who had a bag equally, as large as mine. ( Oh well, pay it forward and one day it will come back to you, if not at least you can feel good about yourself! Or if your back hurts to buy yourself a drink in the hotel bar upon arrival.) After I got my bags settled, I grabbed a few magazines for the ride and made my nest in my seat.
I traveled premier class on the train and it was perfectly comfortable. The view inside the train, was as interesting as the view outside, of the train. I sat by a very handsome gentleman who by the way didn’t give me the time of day. (Oh to be young again and have admirers!) I had requested a vegetarian lunch which was served complete with wine, coffee and water. The lunch was a delicious quinoa salad and onion tart. The French really do know the right portions of food to serve, we Americans need to take note. Most of the ride was in daylight. Here are a few pics I snapped while in transit.
Seeing the French country side made me wish I had more time to travel outside of Paris. I saw lots of tilled land and beautiful trees just as we associate with France. During the ride there were tunnels of complete darkness which was interesting, too. Once we hit the tunnels, it felt like nighttime and I feel asleep, so I’m not sure how long we were in the tunnels. It was a little surreal. There was a flashing light along the walls, but other than that complete darkness. When I awoke, we were almost to London.
Before the train stopped the frequent travelers, began bustling to gather their bags, and ready themselves for exit of train. I sat back and let them go first. I had no idea what I was doing, so it made sense to follow their lead.
The London St Pancras Station is beautiful. It is well known for its Victorian Architecture. After escaping demolition in the 1960’s it was refurbished in the 2000’s. It’s absolutely breathtaking! I stopped to take it all in!
“The Meeting Place” Bronze by artist Paul Day is on the upper level once you exit the train.
I had a bit of a debacle trying to meet up with my Uber driver, but once I stopped and asked a Bobbie, he chatted with the “ole chap” and send me on my way with a “Cheerio” which made my day! If you want to know why they are called bobbies click here! (I must work on my London slang!) My Uber driver took me to the CitizenM Hotel. (by the way, if you haven’t signed up for Uber do so here! It’s now in Charlotte and most major cities!!! (if you sign up under me and take a ride using Uber we both get a $10 credit!)
I must head out to the museum. I have been in this room way to long, but really chose to take these few days to rest, relax and regroup for the Blogtour London events, so I’m not going to feel guilty that I took a three hour nap in my room yesterday and am not leaving the hotel until 1:30 today. I feel rested and rejuvenated! Hang on…there’s so much more to tell you!!!
“The Design Connector” connecting you to the people, places, and products you need to know in the Interior Design World. Written by Lisa Mende, who is an Interior Designer, Tastemaker and Brand Collaborator located in Charlotte, North Carolina.