The Craziest Brit Between Three Countries

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I hopped on the flybus just after ten minutes past six in the morning to catch the flight to Gatwick for the next leg of my adventure, armed with my twenty-five litre rucksack, a ridiculous amount of energy, my owl t-shirt and of course the puffin I bought in Iceland! 

Today, I have been to three capitals!

This is a record for me. On my journey to Besançon, I started at Reykjavik, grabbed the Eurostar at London and got off at Paris. Is that an impressive feat? I’m not sure. I then proceeded to navigate the Paris metro (RER) where I managed not to get lost. Well, I say that, I did do a lot of fumbling around with tickets and I said “Gare De Lyon” so many times that I probably resembled Mr. Bean when he wanted to go on holiday to Cannes  I call that quite an achievement. 

I absolutely stink!

Probably because I haven’t showered and have done a ridiculous amount of sweating… 

Although my breath is lemony-fresh

Thanks to the twenty-five pack of citrus gum that I bought in Iceland! 

Let’s start at the beginning then shall we?

I arrived at the airport and headed straight for security. Where both my bag and my coats were stopped. Both of these were in different trays. The most bizarre thing was that they stopped one and then just gave me the tray, while the other went back through the x-ray machine. Of course both were fine. It is however the most bizarre experience I’ve had with airport security! 

Then as usual Easyjet overbooked the flight

*Slowclap* well done there to Easyjet…  I was disappointed to not see anyone get chucked off the flight. 

But lame joking aside, because of this our flight was delayed

So I had a little “micro-panic” where I zoomed through Gatwick airport in approximately twenty minutes to catch a Thameslink to St Pancras. There was loads of time, I don’t know what I was worried about! 

I arrived fifty minutes before my Eurostar train and had to go through security again…

Where I met some Americans who I guess were in their sixties. Anyway, after going through security again (which was pretty much the same as airport security minus the 100ml rule. 

When I got on the Eurostar, this French woman was having a moan

So I gave her my seat and befriended a frequent Eurostar user whose wife and kids live in France. This woman didn’t want to sit next to this man, she wanted him to move so she could sit with her daughter, so I politely offered her my seat, as I wasn’t in the mood for hearing people squabbling about petty little matters that was actually easily resolvable. She didn’t seem particularly greatful of me giving up my seat for her so she and her daughter could sit together. Honestly, some people don’t know their luck. No wonder people think French people are rude, most people I know would be really grateful!

I was probably in the UK for about three and half hours, before I entered foreign territory again

Cool story bro, nees more dragons!

Call me mad, but I actually like to use trains for both commuting and for leisure.

Oh wait, right, yeah I forgot, I’m the craziest Brit between three countries! I actually prefer trains to airplanes too. Probably because there’s more space and that it’s easier to walk around a train than it is a plane. 

My advice for Eurostar is to get the standard premium seats

They only cost about twenty quid more, they’re more comfortable and you get a meal and free wine! Today I got roast beef with coleslaw, some bread and a chocolate brownie with some red wine. I then finished off with a tea and a biscuit. It really is a no brainer! It’s also certainly better than a flight offered by British Airways, although it’s probably not as quick. 

With my new friend, we talked about various topics

Including how stupid it was to let people decide on whether the UK should or should not leave the EU. Honestly, that vote was sad, because people didn’t vote for the truth, they believed lies that were told to them. Sheep, who believed the media’s lies and, trusted a man with a ridiculous haircut and that the only way to save their beloved NHS was to leave the EU. But this really is another post for another time. 

We also talked about various experiences that we’d had, phones, technology and how much of an adventure that I was truly on. What I also found pretty cool was that this guy had also visited Iceland, so we were able to share our experiences with each other. We also talked about talking to people on trains and how people just don’t do it for some reason, even though if you do talk to people, then the journey goes much quicker! 

Help, I’m British!

I arrived at Paris Gare Du Nord and blimey, I fumbled around for a bit. For my final train, I had to get the TGV from Paris Gare De Lyon which Google told me would be roughly eight minutes on the RER (effectively the London underground of Paris). I tried to get a ticket from the machine and it just didn’t like me. I was of course using the wrong machine… It gave me a tiny ticket, in fact, I was so surprised by its size that I thought it had given me a bus ticket! My tactics were to go to every information desk and say the words Gare De Lyon which I’m sure just screamed the words “Help, I’m British and rubbish at speaking your language” 

But I did make it to Paris Gare De Lyon

And then fumbled around again trying to find the mainline train… I had an eticket so I didn’t need to muck around with validating train tickets or queuing at a machine to get a naff bit of paper. I rather didn’t want to be chucked off the train for having an invalid ticket… So of course, I looked like a right donkey trying to scan this eticket in the wrong place. 

I eventually realised that I needed to go upstairs and wait in zone two

So I did, until the platform came up on-screen. I then got on the train and got in the wrong seat. I quickly corrected this and sat in the right seat. Surprisingly the French like it when we joke that we’re all bumbling fools. 

The train to Besançon was glorious

Seriously, first class was so luxurious! I thought it was necessary considering that I was traveling pretty much through the majority of France. This was only 94€ which I didn’t deem as too expensive. 

There were weeping angels in the park

Well at least this is what they looked like when I got off the train. 

I gave my skittles to a hobo

Because I didn’t have any euros on me and I was just scoffing an entire bag in front of him. So he got my skittles!

And I didn’t know what a cathedral looked like

When I arrived in Besançon, I was told to go to the cathedral with a massive. In the end I had to wait by a merry-go-round while someone came to find me. I arrived just before midnight. So in the end, everything worked out pretty well!

And that’s it!

This post came out two days late. So whoops. This is the last post of April. Bring on May!

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