Chunnel, TGV and swindled in Paris

Sunday, 5th September

After the panic of last night, because of no train connectivity between Catsford and Waterloo station early morning, sleep was uneasy.

We woke up with a start in the morning, the alarm has somehow failed us and it 445 am. We had 15 minutes to get ready and rush to bus stop with our 15 kilo each backpacks. How were we ever going to make it? and one more day in London would surely kill us.

We managed our clothes, thankfully we had packed our rucksacks last night. Hurriedly saying goodbye to Dominic we ran down the flight of stairs and continued running till be reached the bus stop. We had skipped brushing my teeth too.

It was still gray and a nice wind blew. We stopped at the bus stop to catch our breath. An early morning goer was already there and he mentioned our bus had already left but not to worry another one should follow soon. And thankfully in a few minutes the bus did arrive and with happy faces we proceeded towards Waterloo.

The streets were deserted, the sky was now breaking into hues of color and the houses looked so pretty. Even the odd graffiti on walls had a surreal charm about it.

There was madness at the station. From no where did it look that it was so early in the day. There were people everywhere, rushing, even on a Sunday.

Anyways we boarded the Chunnel for our destination Paris.

We crossed the city, farmlands at quite a pace. And all hopes of  being underwater and to see sharks and whales below the ocean floor from our train window was destroyed. Because dreams are just dreams and hope against hope the train entered a dark long concrete tunnel in the belly of the ocean with a rumbling noise. I think the ferry ride across would have been more exciting.

Anyways we ate our mayonnaise, and ham sandwiches and slept on our chairs. When we woke up we were on the other side of the ocean passing through picturesque villages on the Paris countryside.  It was a 2hr 15 minute journey (precise!) and we had gained an hour when we reached Paris.

On our way we were in two minds about our onward journey. Either we stayed in Paris and then went further down to Lisbon and then went towards Switzerland or finish Lisbon first and then move to Paris and Switzerland. G was super cool with the planning and finally the later plan sounded perfect.

We were at Gare Montparnasse and were absorbing the flavor of Paris. We walked the floor and went towards the larger than life windows which overlooked the streets. The first impression of Paris was delicate, colorful, lively, cheerful and all other synonyms. It was hard not to love Paris.

With our luggage we went to the ticket counter for tickets to Lisbon. The strange fellow at the counter with samrt glasses with a series of hand and face movements in the most helpful manner told us that we had to take the TGV to Hendaye. for which there is no charge (becuase of our Eurail pass) and from there we had to take the overnite train to Lisbon and it is only better if we took the Coupe to sleep, because the journey was long and seats would be uncomfortable.

TGV the fastest train and G had scared me enough by telling me stories about how the train splits in two and one goes in one direction and the other in another. So we clung on to our seats, gingerly walked to the wash room and scared to go to the pantry car, lest we split in two directions.

We finally reached Hendaye, at 10 pm, without the TGV being split in two at took our waiting train to Lisbon.

The fools that we were we were swindled of our 40 euros on that looser coupe. I wish I could lay my hands on that fellow at the ticket counter. And what hurt more was that seats looked more comfortable and were quite cheaper too.

1 comment:

Reeta Skeeter said...

Skeets agrees... the ferry would've been better...
lol@ G trying to scare u and u getting scared...hahahaha

Somehow when I was reading the post I knew that you'd not be happy with the coupe and so it was...sorry to say but the French are not particulalry good to the non-French speaking people...Muggles may differ :P