Mark\’s Rants, Raves And Other Things ;)

Rants and raves about things that interest me

London Day 5 and the train to Paris

Posted by Mark Sztainbok on April 10, 2008

We woke up relatively early, packed, had breakfast followed by more packing. We then proceeded to check out of the hotel and caught a train to King Cross station where we dropped our luggage off in the left luggage store in St Pancras International station which is joined to King Cross station and is where the Eurostar train departs from. We also picked up our train tickets only to discover that the automated system had put us in seats that weren’t actually together (there was an aisle between them). We went to the customer service window where it looked like a lot of people were having seat issues and were told that the system for some unknown reason does things like this. The seats were corrected and we headed back to Kings Cross station.

Kings Cross station is an interchange for 7 different Underground lines as well as a main terminal for trains within the UK so as you can expect it was exceptionally busy. We hopped on a Piccadilly line train to head down to Knightsbridge. The train was so packed that we had to cram into the doorway and bend our heads to the curve of the train to be able to get on. This was a Saturday so I dread to think what the trains must be like during peak hours on a normal weekday.

Once we reached Knightsbridge,we headed to check out Harrods. At Harrods we mainly wandered around as it is way too expensive and upmarket for us and had a gelati before heading back to Kings Cross/St Pancras, where we picked up our luggage and proceeded to the Eurostar check in.

Once checked in, we passed through security and passport control (where they give you a French passport stamp) and waited to board the train.

The train trip wasn’t bad. We had a meal and some French Champagne and wine and got to see the British and French countrysides. The Chunnel (Channel Tunnel) wasn’t as exciting as we both expected as it is literally just darkness outside the train for about 20 minutes or so. The train trip took a little over 2 hours and arrived in Paris’ Gare Du Nord station.

At Gare Du Nord, we validated our Paris Visite tickets and the RER Line A to Hausmann Saint-Lazare station where I mistakedly thought we had to catch Metro line 13 to our hotel which was located next to Rue du Bac station when in fact we had to catch Metro line 12. The problem with this was that the 2 Metro lines were at completely opposite sides of the station so we had to lug our 4 suitcases, 2 camera bags and 2 carry-ons all the way to a wrong station then walk all the way back to the other station.

Once we got to Rue du Bac station, we headed to our hotel (K+K Cayre) and checked in. This time I asked to look at the room first without taking all the luggage up in case there was another issue like in London. Luckily the room was fine so we took our luggage up and rested for a little bit.

We asked at reception for a recommendation for dinner and were directed to a French restaurant up the street called A La Petite Chaise, which is the oldest restaurant in Paris. The food was really good. I ate smoked salmon with a purple mustard cream, duck fillet with a roasted apple and finished with a creme brulee).

After dinner we headed back to the hotel.

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