19 October 2013

Changing trains in Paris on the way from Madrid to London

I went to sleep somewhere in Spain and woke up around 7am in France.

I went to the buffet car soon after only to find that my group, always early starters, were there in force and all the tables were taken. That meant waiting about quarter of an hour for somebody to finish. The continental breakfast was worth it though and it set me up nicely for a day of travel.

The route into Paris was not especially pretty and the train windows were not good for photography; this picture proves both points.

We arrived at Gare d`Austerlitz around 9am. It was not the prettiest of stations though the roof did its best to brighten things up.

The coach got us to Gare du Nord in good time for the 11am train. Sadly the blight of the heavy contingency kicked-in and we had been booked on one over two hours later.

We were so early that we were not allowed to check in for an hour and had to amuse ourselves for that time while also keeping a close eye on all our bags.

It was not that long after breakfast but I went to a cafe across the road for a coffee anyway. There I had a bit of luck in that not only was the cafe very nice but they had wi-fi so I could catch up on the news etc.

I also had a little walk around and took a few photographs of the station. The glass and metal of the canopy was, as always, my favourite part. The frontage was not bad either, despite having the name of the station engraved on it more often than seemed necessary.

After killing time in the local cafes, we regrouped and were eventually allowed to check-in and to more through to the departure lounge. Being the first in meant that we could bag the most comfortable seats which was useful as were were going to be there for a little while and the lounge got packed in that time.

Finally we were allowed on to our train and to begin the final leg of our journey the tenth taken by train that holiday.

We had also taken seventeen coach journeys and while some of these were to/from stations and hotels I think there were more than necessary. When I travel across Europe I do it all by public transport and do not even use taxis very often.

Everything from Paris was simple and familiar. I still hate the long walk at St Pancras from the international station to the underground but, that apart, it was an easy journey and I was back home by late afternoon.

It had been a great holiday and there were some solid highlights at each place we stopped. It was just a shame that some of the scheduling and planning meant that we did not spend as much time sightseeing or on trains as we could have done.

No comments:

Post a comment

All comments are welcome. Comments are moderated only to keep out the spammers and all valid comments are published, even those that I disagree with!