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Paris? I'll take the train thanks
Member Name: suavilous
Date: 28/01/10, updated on 28/01/10 (365 review reads)
Advantages: Ease of travel, so stressless
Disadvantages: None, great all round
When booking my suprise trip to paris for my girlfriend for her 21st from expedia (please check that review out) i chose to go there by Eurostar instead of the plane. And what a great choice that was.
They eurostar runs to only two european spots at the moment if travelling from England. They are France (Calais, Lille, Paris) and Belgium (Brussels). The stops at England are Kings Cross St Pancreas, Ebbsfleet and Ashford International. They used to go to Waterloo but that changed when St Pancreas was revamped. The trips to France also have limited stops to more southern locations and also right to Disneyland too.
Our tickets start from Kings Cross. Getting to Kings Cross was easy, quick tube from London Bridge and that was it. It was abit of a walk to the actual terminal but as we were travelling light (well i was) it wasnt a problem. As we got there it looked like a mini airport, spaced out and very bright. As i had booked my tickets online and not really trusting the machines i went to the desk to get my prints. The lady was very helpful and very friendly. After a few clicks, the prints came out and we were on our way. She gave me a quick brief of my carriage number and also the seats.
They do the usual checks like its an airport, afterall you are leaving the country. Checking passports, travel documents, once thats done your are then taken to the terminal via a travelator (floor moving escalator) which was quite cool. Upon arriving on our terminal we saw the machine. It was huge and verrry long. Looking for the right carriage wasnt a problem as it was clearly numbered (either on the train or on the floor, i cant really remember) and was greeted by a gentleman as we stepped in. He checked our tickets to make sure we were on the right carriage and wished us a enjoyful journey.
Upon entering we came to our first but only obstacle, baggage area. It wasnt as big as we hoped it would be. Maybe that was because the suitcases in there already were huge. Thankfully because of our relatively small suitcases we found a little spot and went to our seats. Word of advice, do not travel heavy, no huge suitcases please.
The train itself is quite wide and spaceous, not like the normal trains we have here! The seats were numbered so it was easy to find them and they were also very comfortable and not cramped at all. If only all trains were like this! The journey itself was very very smooth, it hardly made a sound. We even had a little nap on the way there and back. Before we knew it, we were at Paris main train station. This is so much better than a plane right now. Then we were all set to go to the final destination, disneyland. Again that part was also quick and smooth.
We didnt try out the food on the train on the way to france but on the way back to St Pancreas we decided to give it a go. It allocated nicely between two carriages and is also spaced out nicely. The prices for me were abit steep and so we dully stuck with a hot drink and a small tin of pringles! My advice would be to eat before you board as it will probably be cheaper.
Overall i would definately recommend the eurostar for paris, i would say for brussels aswell even though i havent been. Its so much easier that plane as your dont have to get there 2hours before your flight leaves, go through the whole baggage control and the long repetitive questions (did you pack your own bag?). You'll probably get there quicker by train! Also they dont charge you a hidden baggage fee either and also it can be so much cheaper. Also you wont end up a million miles away from your hotel either as the stops are located in very good areas and its a great way to take your children or mates to disneyland as it will stop right outside it!.
Now and again they do great deals such as return tickets for only £70 etc so check out the website for a good deal and a great journey. They are also planning to go Amsterdam and Rotterdam to but they are not sre yet, but if they do, they are going to be very busy!
Summary: Dont plane it, train it!
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