The journey down

As always I am impatient to go. This would mean an hours wait at the station, but I would rather be moving and at least there would be no panic.
As always there is something unexpected. Viv was complaining her rucksack was uncomfortable. Mine fitted like a glove. I was reluctant to adjust her straps as they had been set in the shop where we bought them.
Then I had inspiration, why not get off the bus in Foregate Street and go back to the shop. So with plenty of spare time this we did.
We grabbed one of the assistants as we entered and went upstairs. ”Have you come far?” He asked, obviously noting our attire was more walker than city shopper. He looked surprised when Viv said ”Gresford”.
Anyhow, he adjusted Vivs bag which is now much more comfortable. On our way out he looked surprised again after enquiring where we were off to today. He never expected ”Spain”.
Sitting on the train writing is a whole new experience for me. I feel like crime writer on the way to my publishers. Trains have certainly changed since I were a lad. Smooth quiet and so fast, before we know it we will be in Euston then to join the Eurostar.
Euston to St Pancras was straightforward enough. There were signs at every junction. It took less than half an hour to find so we had plenty of time to get through security, and sit with our yoghurt.
St Pancras was an impressive old railway building, but left me with a few questions as to why certain architectecural features were there. Just have to google it when I get home.
The Eurostar train was comfortable enough, but I thought it was looking tired. Maybe we will be better matched on the way home.
I felt sorry for the two old guys who had to sit in the corridor. It seems there was a problem on a previous train and this was their only option. Just shows, at any time there is someone worse off than yourself.
The trouble with train journeys is all the waiting. We had three hours to kill in Paris. The subway to Austerlitz took about twenty minutes, then what do we do? First make the classic mistake of buying coffee in a french bar, should have asked for cafe au lait. Then we walked down by the river, followed by a wander around the station. We met a nice German guy who was a bit lost, so we helped him find the train. Unfortunately he was on another coach at the other end of our train so we did not see him again today.
French railway efficiency is legendary, or so they say. We had to queue for half an hour to get on our train, by which time we were bursting. This train had the old fashioned loos that empty straight on to the line. Prohibited to use in the station.
So we waited and our train left 15 minutes late. We don’t know why but there was alot of shouting and running around happening.
This train is a sleeper. We debated with our German friend whether we would have beds or pulman seats or even recliners. We had no such thing. The seats would have been quite comfy for daytime travel, but we got little sleep in them.
So tomorrow we will set off with aches and heavy eye lids, for our final train journey from Bayonne to St Jean Pied de Port.

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1 Comment

Filed under Camino de Santiago

One response to “The journey down

  1. Phil & Brenda Williams

    Beunos Dios……….. Checked your blog for departure date the day after you had left. Enjoy your adventure, we will be reading your updates. It seemed like a good start, things can only improve,
    can’t they ! . Best wishes to you both, if the going gets tough, just enjoy it.
    Phil & Brenda

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