Today we spend on the train, so I finally have time to write. We have been in London for 4 days and still haven't quite kicked the time lag. We have been waking up at 4.30 in the morning and crashing at 6, then 8, then 10 at night, but now, I think we are moving to a timezone an our closer to our own, so I have great hopes for our sanity.
The hotel in London was lovely and the staff were really nice, Karl shopped and we got out Museum fix and walked what felt like 100km, but you have heard me talk about London before.
We are headed to San Sebastian now, but it nearly didn't work out that way.
We left our hotel at 6.45 and after getting fairly decisively ripped off by the taxi driver, (but not enough to get in a fight over), we arrived at King's Cross St Pancras in plenty of time. Checking in and going through passport control, I asked the Gendarme if it was possible to get our Eurail pass stamped and activated. He did not say no. He did not say yes. He did not in any way confirm or deny the fact that I was was even visible to him now he had stamped my passport. Nice job breaking the stereotype of the unhelpful Frenchman Monsieur.
Then the boarding time for our train comes.....and goes. There is no announcement, there is no anything, until the time passes when it was due to leave. Then a few words appeared when it once said please wait to board. It says expected at 8.15. This is 20 mins late and our connection in paris is already fairly tight.
We are on the train and continue to be 20 mins late. The train manager does ask if anyone has connections in danger and stamps our tickets to say we are allowed to hope on the next train if we miss it. Small problem. The next train is not for 5 hours and it has it's own connection. I am not even sure if the little local train from Irun to San Sebastian will even still be running at midnight, I think it is pretty unlikely. This would result in spending the night at a rural spanish train station and not a 5 star hotel that used to be a palace. This is not an acceptable outcome.
So we bolt through the Paris Metro system like we are being pursued by the Nazi's. There are lots of stairs and precious few signs to tell us where we should be going. I do not understand the purpose of going down 15 steps to follow a walkway 20 mtrs long then go back up 15 steps. We are more or less guessing which way to go.
We make it to the train 10 mins before it pulls out of Montpernasse. I need a wine and some food, but the menu is all in French, only some of which I understand. Our Eurail pass has not been stamped, but they let us on the train anyway. I am pretty sure we are still breaking some kind of obscure French law. Here we come Spain, please be kind to us.