Thursday, 15 July 2010

On the Road Again

The newly refurbished St Pancras Station, very nice except I had to walk the concourse twice before finding the all important 'beer bar'.

On a very blustery day, and after a full English breakfast at the William Henry it was a 4 hour journey from Weymouth to London, Victoria via the National Express coach. From there it's just 5 stops on the Victoria Line tube to St Pancras railway station, where I met up with my long time friend Andy Lindsay. Both of us have had a desire to travel on the Euro Star to Paris since its inception, so today was the day. Originally it departed from Waterloo, where during my regular journeys back to the rig I was able to view the building of the new station extension.

Euro Star, a little underwhelming! It rattles on at a fair old pace but once your in the tunnel the views become a little restricted.

The TGV = Train à Grande Vitesse, meaning high-speed train

We had decided to book nothing after the Euro Star allowing ourselves full flexibility, however this was to backfire on us. With only 'first class' tickets available for the next TGV train to Avignon, the £200+ price tag was prohibitive so we had to await the 21-30 which got us to our destination just a little before mid-night. This train is 'fast' (180 mph) to say the least, but no matter how quickly we traveled it couldn't alter the situation at the other end. Arriving in the heart of Festival Time there wasn't a hotel room to be found in the city. This is a situation that has only befallen me once before in all my travels, the place and date being still clear in my memory. Thessaloniki, Greece 11th September 2001 is a date we all remember. The Greek Premier was holding a pow-wow in the city and every hotel was full, forcing Billy Crumble and I to take an expensive taxi ride to the coast. On the way all we could get from the driver was USA Boom, USA Boom and it wasn't until that evening over barbecued lamb and Retsina we discovered the World Trade Center had been attacked.

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