Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Travel Tribulations

My holiday for this summer is now confirmed. I’m going with my parents to the south-west of France, near Narbonne (site is in French). My parents orignally booked for just the two of them back in October, on the assumption that I may be going on holiday with some of my friends. As yet, nothing has been planned (and it’s unlikely that anything will be – I think most people will be spending the summer earning some cash for next year), so my parents have let me come with them. Yay.

Although the travel company were able to bump the accommodation up to 3 people, there is one problem – my parents are going to come back via Motorail, where you put your car on the train and travel overnight in sleeper cars. The trains run between northern and southern France, so it saves you from having to drive across the country.
Anyway, the problem is that the service is fully booked. There’s no way that I can squeeze on (well, no legal way ;)), so I’ll have to make my own way home. Fortunately, having a father who is employed by the railways comes in handy sometimes – I can get cheap/free rail tickets in both the UK and France.

So my plan is this: take a TGV from Montpellier in the south to Paris Gare du Lyon, take a metro across Paris to Gare du Nord, and then a Eurostar train to London Waterloo. I then take two tube trains across London to King’s Cross, before getting a train to York, and then a taxi home. The whole journey will take a mere 10 hours, and I’d be at home a whole 2 nights before my parents get there >:-).

In fact, if I was to be doing the same in four or five years time, that may even be less than 9 hours, since the Government is spending billions on a new high speed rail link through Kent that drops you off in London St. Pancras (which is next door to King’s Cross), thus cutting out the tube altogether. In the meantime, the Kent section is still painfully slow compared to the near-200mph cruising speed of the TGVs in France, but that’ll change in time.

What’s more, I leave in a mere 10 weeks time :-D. Of course, there’s coursework and exams to do before then, but at least it’s something to look forward to.
By the way, I’ve given up on Gnomedex this year – I’d really love to go, but the fact that I’d almost certainly be travelling on my own and the prohibitive cost means it ain’t goona happen, unfortunately. Well, not this year, at least.

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