I was going to write about my dreamy hotel in Avignon, but this morning’s tragedy in Brussels is silencing.
The immediate thought that comes to mind is my daughter’s safety. Then the fervent prayer- I hope Brussels doesn’t inspire an avalanche of events across the great cities of the world.
To stay calm, I’ve decided to write Some Useful Information so that I don’t forget certain things observed on this trip. Perhaps some of this can help another traveller, in similar shoes.
A. Le Voyage (via the Eurotunnel):
Security is heightened now. There are newly erected fences.
I didn’t encounter any migrants. I was safe in my taxi (Folkestone Taxi). Unlike before, there is a police presence at Calais Frethun, the station from where I board the Paris-bound TGV train. At Gare du Nord, there are more policemen and the train that is Calais-bound strictly guarded.
Each car was searched. The formidable presence of uniformed French in bullet-proof vests carrying arms, made me feel safer. It also made me realise again, that we are living in very difficult times. (Dear American friends, please vote wisely. We don’t want nor need any more madness in this sorrowful world.)
On English soil, the closest train station to the Eurotunnel is Folkestone West. Southeastern train services this route, leaving London from St Pancras. Get on the 0:721 direct train that arrives at Folkestone West at 08:33, so as to make the 09:20 crossing.
The crossing takes about 35 minutes. France is an hour ahead of the UK.
From Calais Frethun, take the 12:32 (direct) TGV, arriving at Gare du Nord at 14:14. From Gare du Nord, I take Metro 4 in the direction of Mairie de Montrouge to Odeon, the nearest stop to my preferred hotel in the 6th.
The metro ticket now costs 1.80 Euros.
B. Le Chien
He needs his passport to travel within the EU.
The passport must include information on his annual vaccinations, rabies vaccination, and micro-chip number. For re-entry into the UK, he must be treated with the preventative medication for tapeworm within 24-120 hours prior to entry. The time and make of this tablet administered to him must be recorded by his vet in blue ink.
His TGV ticket costs 7 euros, and can only be purchased at the counter.
The Church of Saint Sulpice is a comforting sight.
Because you can count on God to provide trees for Bruno to potty. There is also a small gathering of trees on Rue Bonapart, just a block away from the church.
The locks have been removed, and Pont des Arts glassed up!
It took me a moment to realise I was not on the wrong bridge!
Thon est tuna. I did order the correct fish for him.
Vous is you. Nous is we. I keep forgetting the nous.
To commit to memory because everyone keeps asking:
Il est Bruno. He is Bruno.
Oui, il parle un peu français. Yes, hé speaks a little French.
- Folkestone Taxi 01303 252000 (Round trip including tunnel fare- 396.75 pounds), Highly Recommended.