Monday, 10 August 2015
Trains and things
When the option of a home exchange to Barcelona came up, I thought it worth trying to go by train. It's a long trip - six hours from Paris to Barcelona (one forgets just how large France is), and the logistics of exchanging keys and so on made an overnight break in Paris inevitable (oh, the hardship) as well as a more relaxed way to do it.
Until, that is, the Eurostar terminal announced a delay because of a trespasser on the line in France. This must have been the day one of the desperate wouldbe migrants in Calais managed to walk into the tunnel (presumably the service tunnel) and well on the way to England; but in the event, although the train slowed down for the last mile or so in the tunnel, it arrived more or less on time in Paris. All that could be seen from the train at Calais was some military vehicles parked near the freight terminal area. Once again, cause to remember just how cocooned from the world's tribulations I've been fortunate to be.
Even more the case on the TGV, where the air-conditioning kept the blood-heat outside temperatures at a much more comfortable level. And after all that, on the Barcelona metro, they are at pains to reassure you that the next train will not be some gimcrack imitation: