A Hellish Journey to Paris

>>  Thursday, November 29, 2012

I have mentioned before that travel plan disasters follow me around like a pariah so I wasn't surprised to see online photos of our local station car park 4 foot under water the day before we were due to travel.

No worries, a taxi was duly booked. And it arrived on time. We had time to spare to get nice coffee and papers.....or so I thought.

 As we got out of the taxi, a lady said 'hope you're not travelling to London'. Oh the voice of doom.

Turns out there had been a jumper and the trains weren't getting south. The harassed man in the normally sleepy ticket office told us to go to a station further south by car, it's the only way he could 'guarantee' a train.

But we had no car at the station. I cheekily knocked on the window of a car about to leave but could immediately see they were all seats full.  Then a 7 seater taxi with a guy in pulled up. I went to the driver and asked if he could take us to another Station. The guy in the taxi also decided to stay in and I called over the family who owned the voice of doom. They had a disabled member with them. As we pulled off I cheerily said 'to the station James and don't spare the horses'. HWMBO had no idea at all what I meant. My 'wit' is wasted! 

At Kettering we boarded the promised train first class and thanked our lucky stars for a fortuitous taxi moment.

We cruised all the way to the next stop. And the train broke down! We were told to board a Capital Connect train, for those not in the know these stop as every station at every village at every...i suspect you could actually walk there quicker. At this point I realised I had 2 choices, either totally lose it or just resign myself to yet another Kelloggsville epic disaster. The people in the Capital Connect carriage were lovely as a completed my nervous breakdown in record time and got on with disaster mitigation on phone to Eurostar.

Our new train was due to arrive 10 minutes after the final check-in. Oh joy!

We primed the people at the train doors that we were on a racing block start and they stepped aside, shouting good luck as we legged it up the escalators. We didn't actually hit anyone but people were diving to the side as a group of people all off the same train gave Jessica Ennis a run for her money.

And bless those Eurostar staff as we panted  "12:25, we're on the 12:25" at the ticket gate. "Bonjour Madame, slow down now, you made it, relax" and they took us through a side barrier, opened a security point for us and said "plenty of time, all is good."

We stepped on the train and within 5 minutes we were on our way to Paris.

Blog worthy it may be, I'd really rather have a journey that wasn't as hairy!

Although what I do know, whilst the family with a disabled member made it onto the Connect train into London the same as us, they would never have managed the dash to the Eurostar and they were originally booked on an even earlier one. So whilst a little harassed,  we were lucky, they would have still had more travel issues to contend with.

Maybe we are incredibly lucky that we keep making these connections by the skin of our teeth. Perhaps I just look at it from the wrong angle.

After all we were eating breakfast in the Welland Valley, lunch near London and dinner in Paris.

Life is good.


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