Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Long Travel Day

Pages from Jan's Travel Journal: April 28, 2015

We had a very long travel day, making our way back to France. We all grabbed a hot drink in the hotel breakfast room before trundling our luggage along to the bus station. We had decided to take this alternate form of transportation for a couple of reasons. One, it would give us different views and perspective to be on the highway, and two, riding the bus would save the four of us a total of £100. It would mean adding one additional hour of travel time, which we felt would be worth it.

Near the bus station in Bath, Darcy and Mathieu discovered a Krispy Kreme donut shop! They walked over and picked up a dozen assorted donuts while Craig and I waited at the bus terminal. That was a tasty treat for all of us, but especially for Darcy and Mathieu, who had not had Krispy Kreme for a couple of years, at least. My favorite was the speculoos-filled donut. 

A shopping arcade in Bath.
Farewell, Bath! It's been fun.

The bus turned out to be very nice, more like a charter bus would be in America. It had tinted windows and plush, high-backed seats. I enjoyed looking out at the lovely English countryside, though it wasn't long before we were driving through the outskirts of London. After we arrived at the terminal, we walked through Paddington Station and took the Tube to St. Pancras where we soon boarded the Eurostar. Craig was quite impressed with the high-speed train and the idea that we were just a short ride away from Paris. On the train, we had seats that faced each other, with a table between us, which made it much more comfortable to read, snack, or play a game.

At Paddington Station in London.

The London Underground, aka The Tube.

Before we knew it, we had arrived at Gare du Nord, where we piled into a taxi for the ride across Paris to Gare d'Austerlitz. The train to Orléans wasn't crowded and it was a quiet, pleasant ride. At the station, we transferred to a tram for the trip across town to Darcy and Mathieu's home. At that point, we had been travelling for 15 hours and were more than ready for a bite to eat. We deposited our luggage inside the door and walked back across the bridge to Oh, Terroir where we had a delightful meal. We all somehow decided on the same dish, which was the delicious ham in Dijon sauce, served over spelt. Oh, Terroir is one of the only restaurants around here which allows free refills on drinks. We enjoyed the sparkling lemonade and the strawberry/blackberry drink. 

We're back!

When we returned to the house, Craig got the full tour of the new digs. He was impressed with the layout and with the way Darcy and Mathieu had decorated their home. We chatted for a while, and then went to bed exhausted. But it had certainly been a fun trip!

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