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A love letter to the Eurostar

Monday 25 March 2013

Despite being in Paris a couple of times, I had never taken the Eurostar before this year. When I first went, it was with a school trip, and we opted for a ferry/coach option that took a hundred hours. The second time was with a boyfriend, who booked the trip for my 18th birthday. On that occasion, we flew. And I was so wracked with nerves at the thought of a romantic trip in Paris, I vomited at Gatwick airport.

When I lived in London, I always wanted to take the train to Paris, but never quite had the money. But I've always, always wanted to take the Eurostar. What's not to love? You get on the train in London, and a couple of hours later you're in the centre of Paris. It still strikes me as a work of magical genius. 

When I went to Avoiriaz earlier in the year, we departed from London. Which meant I finally got my wish. 

It really is as easy as it seems. Upon arriving at St Pancras, there was just a short walk from the tube to the Eurostar terminal. There, I put my ticket through as I would at any other train station, showed my passport to a handsome French man, and sat to wait for my train. The only time I encountered a line was at the coffee counter, which was actually so long I abandoned the idea altogether. 

The terminal itself is spacious and light, and filled with impossibly good looking people. It's all business people and fashion editors. I was dressed like a snowbound slob, but hey ho. 

When I got on the tube at some ungodly hour that morning, I had pulled my suitcase handle up too hard, because it got jammed in the lifted position. It stayed that way for the ENTIRE trip. Which caused a fair bit of hassle on the train, where the luggage sits just inside the door, in compartments similar to regular trains, but larger. Luckily, David Bowie was on hand to help me. 


OK... it was a man who looked very, very much like David Bowie. Which still counts as awesome. 

On the train back, a man who looked nothing like David Bowie tried to move my bag and fuck around with the obviously broken handle. Here's a tip - if someone has left their suitcase handle in an upright and blatantly annoying position, it is highly unlikely that they have inconvenienced themselves on purpose. The bag is broken. Leave it alone. 

But back to the Eurostar.

We were lucky enough to be in the premier economy section, which meant we had amazingly comfortable and huge seats, and a little breakfast. 

I had a sneaky look at the regular economy section and it looked fine too. Really, you're only on there for a couple of hours. I had looked at the prices for premium economy, and you're looking at adding another £70 odd on a ticket. So for special occasions, go for it. But it's not necessary. I didn't get a look in at business class proper. I can only imagine what lies within. The actual David Bowie, probably.

We left London at 7am, and were in Paris two and a half hours later. Honest to God, I felt like I was on the Hogwarts Express.

Now all that's missing from my life is the Dublin - London Eurostar. Train gods, if you're reading this? Make it so.

Tickets from London - Paris return start at £69 (and do actually exist at that rate if you are flexible enough with times and dates)

1 comment

  1. I almost passed out when I thought for a moment that the actual david bowie had been near you...Don't do that to me man...xx


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