Curse you, Eurostar!

Ok, maybe I should wait for cursing until we’re *off* the train, but the experience we just had was straight out of an action flick.

Saturday night, after a full day of family and packing we realized we hadn’t finalized out plans for Paris (this entire trip is so last-minute that I’m surprised we remembered to pack underwear) so we reserved our hostel and got spots on a night bike tour, each with a down payment. Then skipped on over to the Eurostar website to buy tickets for the high-speed train between London and Paris and discovered they were FIVE HUNDRED dollars. Apparently Europeans plan ahead, and Eurostar tickets go on sale as far as 6 months in advance.

We looked into flying, which would’ve been cheaper but would’ve got us in too late for the bike tour. There were somewhat cheaper train tickets, but they also got in too late. Bus would’ve been hella cheap but take NINE hours, which is both uncomfortable and still gets us in too late for bikes. Eurostar it is then, we’ll just chalk this up to having to have SOMETHING go wrong on this trip and knowing the extra time in Paris will totally be worth it.

Fast forward to today, we get in around 7, and after a nice breakfast at a tiny diner in London we wander over to Charing Cross Station and the surrounding area to buy Britton a Coke and then find our way to the train with about a 35-40 minute margin of error.

Those minutes saved this trip.

When we didn’t immediately see a Eurostar ticket kiosk, we asked for directions from one of the perky Olympics volunteers. ‘Oh, you want Eurostar? That’s at King’s Cross/St. Pancras. You’ll take the underground to such-and-such a stop, make a transfer an then it’s just a couple more stops.’

Say what.

This began the movie scene. We jaunt down the escalators to the (correct!) tube line, and the train is there within a minute. We ride, anxiously, to the transfer station and are moving at a brisk pace which almost immediately turns into a run which is another example of how this is a story of MINUTES – the connecting train is WAITING, doors open, at the station. We run on and the doors close.

We get to St. Pancras and of course can’t find Eurostar without asking. When we finally do find a kiosk to print out our tickets, it is 11:14 – the train leaves in 14 minutes. I explain the situation to a woman who tells us to go directly to Window 3 where the next attendant assures us we’ll be fine.

We fly through security and a couple from the States let us hop in front if them at immigration. The woman in the immigration booth was particularly chatty when she saw our US passports. (While I’m thinking, ‘Oh, you haven’t been to KC? Bummer! You know, I’ve never been to France and I HAVE A TRAIN TO CATCH, WOMAN!)

Then we run more, following arrows and checking departure boards. We board the train at 11:22am, SIX minutes before the train is scheduled to leave, and the train pulls away from the station at 11:28 on the nose. With us on it.

*high five!*

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Erik Avery

    I love it when good things happen to good people! Let the adventures continue (minus the nail biting)!! Linda

Leave a Reply