Blog archive April 2010
got home at 11.30pm last night. am not at work today due to exhaustion. yesterday was a bit of a marathon. the rail strike in southeast france lifted for one day only, so i had a quick breakfast and escaped aix-les-bains on the 10am TGV, thinking i'd have lunch in paris. went straight to the gare du nord to check the situation, but the scene there was chaos with stranded travellers from all over europe. no eurostar trains available until wednesday! but there was a train to calais at half past 2, so i got a ticket and got on it. no time for lunch, queues for everything too long. so i had nothing but the remains of my bottle of water.
turns out the train is for calais-frethun, ie the eurotunnel terminal which is miles outside calais. so there are a hundred or so people trying to get to england, on an isolated station. it's sunday afternoon, very few taxis or buses - why?? were they not expecting crowds of people to arrive from paris? station cafe closed - i got a couple of snickers bars from a vending machine [for the high calories!]. after about half an hour a local train arrived which could take us to central calais. then bus to the port - then, amazing! short queue to buy a ferry ticket, and on the 18.50 boat. i headed straight for the restaurant for the first meal since 8am.
dover was a bit of a let-down. rail shuttle bus drops us 200 yards from the station, due to roadworks. long queue for tickets. however the station staff let everybody go on the next train even if they haven't got a ticket. apparently they have been open all night every night through the crisis to deal with the arriving travellers. it's sunday night, no cafe, no vending machines. two hours later i'm back in london - half past ten, but station cafes all closed! i've travelled all day to a 'world city' and i can't even get a cup of coffee at half past ten at night! don't give me that 'but it's sunday' crap.
so today i'm shattered.
saturday, however, was wonderful. here are some photos to show how wonderful it was.
so i flew to geneva wed night for a day of meetings and was supposed to fly back thurs night... not having seen the news, when they said that i wouldn't be able to fly back because of a volcano i thought it was a joke! so i ended up in a hotel in aix-les-bains, because geneva is full and very expensive. the french railways strike on friday meant that i couldn't travel north by rail, but it's pretty nice here. chief problem is that i left all my chargers at home [expecting to be back in 24 hours] so my phones are nearly dead. and i didn't bring my laptop. the loss of connectivity is more disturbing than the lack of clean clothes [which i have partially rectified]!
but the view of the lake and the mountains today was good for my soul. better than an airport floor. tomorrow i'll take the tgv to paris and try to get a ferry at calais. eurostar is booked out into monday.
see daniel, this is where jetsetting gets you ;)
very sad at the death of malcolm mclaren. how many of us would be doing what we're doing if not for his combining and packaging of ideas? would alt worship exist without the do-it-yourself attitude given to us by punk? such a powerful notion to release into the world.