Made Paris for Sunday night, I stayed at the Hotel Mercure which is directly oposite the Gare Du Nord Station and it was excellent. The staff were very friendly and helpful above and beyond. The room was very clean and well presented. It felt like a 4 star hotel but I only paid 93 Euros for the night including breakfast. They Looked after my luggage for me on Monday while I had a wander around Paris.
When I got up on Monday Morning it was snowing and Paris looked beatiful. Unfortunately I can’t post any pictures because the light was pretty bad due to low cloud cover and I had to stand so far back to get the pictures of the places I visited that the falling snow cut visibility too far.
The snow appeared to have scared off all the street vendors and beggars except for at Notre Dame where I was accosted 5 times by eastern european women who kept asking me “Do you speak English” and then showing me a sob story on a card. It was all too well organised to be for real so I Fobbed them off (with a little guilt). By the time the 5th one was asking me I was frustrated again and just shook my head and waved her off before she could even ask me if I spoke English. I really think the Parisian Government should do something about their street beggars as it must put tourists off and gives a bad impression.
Anyway, It was the best visit to Paris I have had and for once really enjoyed it.
The trip back to the UK was not as good however. 20 minutes or so out of Paris and the train stopped. After a bit we got an announcement that there was a points failure and we were delayed for 40 Minutes. After we got moving again I thought it would be ok as my last connecting train was at 9pm. Uh Oh. We got to the Tunnel and stopped again. Apparently due to the works on the tunnel each train going through was allocated a time slot which we had missed and lost. We had to wait another 40 Minutes or so. To cut a long story short I missed the last connecting train from Kings Cross. I went back to the Eurostar Terminal and expected to have to fight with the staff there to get something sorted. They were however very polite and did all the leg work within a few minutes and gave me two options. A hotel for the night and a new train ticket for the next day or they could put me on a train which took me to Doncaster and book a taxi from there for me. I took the latter option. I got to doncaster and the taxi was there waiting for me all nice and warm. They gave me a lift back to my towns train station where my car was parked. Got the luggage in the car only to find it had a flat battery and a flat tire 🙁 Anyway after humping my bags across town I finally got home at 3:45 am and went straight to bed.
I have to say the staff at EuroStar were excellent. I understand problems do happen and the quality of a company shows through in how they deal with them. Eurostar pulled all the stops out giving me the options, they did this in an efficient and friendly manner and I am very impressed and would like to thank the staff. I ended up with a little lost time but not out of pocket at all “Well Done EuroStar”.