Sunday, September 17, 2006

Awayday by Train London (Waterloo) to Paris

mrs maytrees and I were sent by our 4 children (late joint birthday present) off to Paris for the day on 16th September 2006.
Wimbledon to Waterloo to Paris; travelling time about 2hrs 45 mins each way by train.Great cities need to be enjoyed in tranches imho; but which tranche?

We last travelled to Paris for a daytrip on Eurostar some 10 years ago. The train has had a makeover since1996 and the London to Paris train gives a far more enjoyable journey in 2006.
Cheapest seats out were fine but the restaurant car for the journey back was excellent. Indeed when I mentioned to the stewardess that it was good that the French influenced the Eurostar cuisine rather than the British, she was only to happy to come up with a 2nd
bottle of their finest wine at no extra charge.

We left Wimbledon at about 9:15 checked in for the 10:13 Eurostar from Waterloo and arrived in Paris in time for lunch.
Recalling Monmartre from student days and Eiffel Tower etc from1996, we decided instead to concentrate our few hours to looking at the Seine Islands and the Latin Quarter. The day in that tranche of Paris went something like this:

Muse National du Moyen-Age;snack (croque monsieur-type)lunchNotre Dame Cathedral; Berthilion ice cream(delicious!);Organ recital (JS Bach c.1hour at St Louis en Lile)
Flower market; Bateau-mouch trip on the Seine
walk via Sorbonne and student quarter to great rue Mouffetard shops/market/atmosphere
and cafe refreshment.
The Paris Metro + RER are cheap enough but their supposed quantum leap ahead of London Transport was more apparent than real. Huge walks at interchange stations; as hot as the Tube but far more odouriferous! The TfL Oystercard also appears to be streets ahead though I think Paris is upgrading its ticketing system.

We made it back to the Gare du Nord for the Eurostar back, with minutes to spare
and the delicious French food and drink on the trip back made a great end to a fantastic day. Arriving back at Wimbledon at 11:30pm

The switch by Eurostar from Waterloo to St Pancras scheduled for 2007, may
ironically, add a few minutes to the overall traveling time from South West London.


  1. A slightly negative reflection on Paris is the sheer number of rough sleepers present, especially along the banks of the Seine. London and other great cities have to accommodate people
    with no fixed homes as well, but somehow there is a sadder air of
    permanence about those we saw
    in Paris.

  2. While reflecting on trains, it was
    good to see the announcement yesterday,
    that Stagecoach is retaining
    its SWTrains franchise, despite
    their strong line over some
    strike action recently.
    SWTrain's promise to introduce the
    electronic fare "oyster card" system
    thoughout the network should be
    beneficial for passengers too.


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