We’ve been back in France since January 14, when we left London via the Eurostar traveling through the Chunnel! (For those interested in less chit chat and just the facts about the Chunnel, you can scroll to the end of this post. 🙂 ) We left from King’s Cross/St. Pancras Station (where platform 9 3/4 is — Harry Potter reference). I was a little nervous about taking a train underneath the English Channel, but I kept my thoughts to myself and decided it would be a quick trip and an adventure!
After going through security, we heard an announcement that our train was delayed as a result of technical issues. Luckily, they were able to put on on another train, so we were only a half hour later than we’d planned. The only uncertainty was that we weren’t sure if it was going to affect our ability to make our connecting train to Lyon, which we were catching in Lille.
The Eurostar was a very roomy, comfortable train, and we enjoyed sitting 2 by 2 with a table in between us.
There was plenty of countryside to see and tunnels we went through as we traveled along. At some point, we noticed that the tunnel we were in seemed a bit longer than the others. Just about the time we were trying to figure out how long we’d been in a tunnel, we were back in daylight and the signs outside were in French!
The train continued on to Gare de Lille (Lille, France train station), where we got off and headed up the escalator to catch our train to Lyon, assuming we’d have a little wait. As we were going up, we heard an announcement saying the train to Lyon was leaving from the same platform in 5 minutes, so we scurried down the other side and hopped on the train with just a minute or two to spare. Even with our delayed start, we actually were able to catch the train we’d planned on with minutes to spare! 🙂
As we boarded the train, we were still trying to figure out if we really caught the right train, as we assumed we wouldn’t get to the station in time. Add to that there was a woman with a 1-year old little girl and two large suitcases trying to catch her train as well. We all got on the same train. She was hoping it was heading to Marseilles, and we were hoping it was heading to Lyon. Per the overhead announcement (after the train left the station), we found out it was going to both! We all heaved a sigh of relief. 🙂
On the train from Lille to Lyon, we had some snacks, played hearts, tried to play speed (but we forgot the rules), and Mike taught the kids how to play Blackjack! 😉 It’s a kind of math, isn’t it? A lesson in probability?
Some Fun Facts about The Chunnel:
The whole length of the tunnel is 31.4 miles and only 23.5 miles are under the sea. At its lowest point, it’s 250 feet deep. The maximum speed of the train is 186 miles per hour, so the time under the sea isn’t long, and it seems to be over just about the time you realize you’re going through it! The train leaves England in Folkestone, Kent and arrives in France in Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais near Calais. There are no announcements about leaving or arriving or going through the tunnel (which for me was probably a good thing)!