A teary goodbye then whisked away by a star!

Trip Start Aug 04, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of France  , Nord-Pas-de-Calais,
Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Goodbyes are never easy, even if they aren't permanent. After nearly a month, our contingent was splitting into two and there were a few wet eyes as we said our goodbyes early in the morning. Our baggage handlers, aka my bro and father inlaw, accompanied us to Waverley train station to help us with our bags, or perhaps to make sure we actually went! They too were moving hotels in preparation of heading to eastern Europe for a 2 week tour.

A quick bite to eat before we got onto the train. The platform was literally on the same level as the road and if you didn't know it was there, you would literally walk across the tracks! First class again, we are getting used to this service however with only 2 and a half of us left, we didn't have the area to ourselves. The train was packed with businessmen heading to London and we were the ONLY passengers travelling with a hyperactive then extremely tired toddler, joy!

Once again there was no shortage of food, not that we really needed it and Master X was better than anticipated after his initial protest against sitting down on the train. Thank god for iPhones and iPads we say. They are definitely sent from the toddler gods. The trip was relatively smooth and we arrived at London's Kings Cross station with only slight delay. A small walk to St Pancras International and we found ourselves checking in to the Eurostar terminal.

Clearing customs and immigration was fun with all our accrued luggage. We still seemed to have so much despite sending 18kg back to Australia. The terminal was absolutely packed and there were people lurking around various gates in anticipation. Similar to the London to Glasgow train, the gate and platform for the Eurostar is only announced twenty minutes before the train leaves. Strange but true!

A stampede was occuring when the platform was announced and I was grateful that we were towards the front and quickly out of the way. First class again and this was real first class. Not quite as impressive as the airlines however with reclining seats and all the modern comforts, we were suitably impressed. More food, agh! There was an english businessman sitting across the aisle and Master X gave him a running commentary of the journey, including the fact that we were going through a tunnel. He was very patient and I think he enjoyed the company.

Before we knew it we were at Lille, and the next leg of the journey began. We stopped to look at a map -
Scott: "Which way do we go?"
Me: "I don't know"
Scott: "Why not? what does the map say?"
Me: "I dont't know, it's in French!!"

This brought about absolute hysterical laughter and eventually we got our bearings. However it took us 4 attempts to actually get out of the elevator to street level. But being positive again, we have now seen every level there is at Lille Eurostar station. Add that to your bucket list!

Our hotel was literally across the road and we were happy about that. But who wants to spend time in a hotel when you can be out exploring, so that is exactly what we did! Into the town centre and to a nice little restaurant where we had a yummy meal and spoke excitedly about our upcoming adventures.
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