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Dr John Hawkins

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Heading Back

Posted on 2009/07/05 16:55:42 (July 2009).

[Saturday 4th July]
We'd just gone for the basic room rate at the Negresco, without breakfast, and as breakfast was a somewhat unwieldy 30 Euros a person (a bit much as I'd probably just end up with a croissant and some fruit juice) we decided to skip it.

Our train was not until 1:40 in the afternoon, so we decided to leave our bags at the hotel, and head out for a spot of shopping and some lunch. This worked out quite well actually - we visited the supermarket, the boulangerie, and a wine shop to buy an assortment of things to eat on the train, and things to take back to the UK. We then squeezed in a quick lunch at a little cafe, again another omelette and chips, accompanied with a large (almost a pint - gasp!) glass of cold, crisp beer.

We took a taxi from the hotel to the station, and conveniently as the train starts from Nice we were able to board a good 20 minutes or so before it actually left. Again we were in first class, which made for a very comfortable journey, albeit slightly spoiled by two young children who were making varying levels of noise during various points of the trip. Luckily though they slept for quite a large chunk of the journey, and for those bits it was quite blissful, sitting in the big comfortable chair, watching the French countryside hurtle past.

We arrived in Paris just before 7:30 and decided to just head straight for the Gare du Nord, as we only have about an hour-and-a-half before our Eurostar left, and you're apparently supposed to check in at least 30 minutes beforehand. So there then followed the now somewhat familiar boring wait in the Eurostar departure lounge at Gare du Nord, before boarding our final train of the day.

As a rather unfortunate end to the journey, when we got back to St. Pancras Chie couldn't find her Oyster card. She went to one of the vending machines to buy a new one, and it just swallowed five quid without giving anything back. As you can imagine this did not exactly fill her with glee at being back in the UK. There was a phone number on the machine which I called, surprisingly somebody actually answered and took down our details, and apparently they will send a refund within 14 days - so fingers crossed that they do actually keep good on that promise, or our days living in London may be strictly numbered!

Comment 1

I think you managed to pack more into your time in the South of France than we did. Congrats on being the Man Who Broke The Bank at Monte Carlo.

Posted by John's Mum at 2009/07/05 17:29:07.

Comment 2

Well the apartment/hotel place we were in for the middle four nights was a bit banal - not exactly the sort of place you'd want to just sit and soak up the atmosphere - so I guess that's part of the reason we were keen to get out and do something every day!

...but really it was a bit too hot to be rushing about doing things. I think we'd have had a better time of it if we'd gone outside of the summer.

Posted by John at 2009/07/05 18:44:52.

Comment 3

Hi John... Sadly typical service in good ol UK.. Don't miss that at all..
Anyway.. Thanks for all the info re visas and immigration you sent me some time ago.. Miyuki and I are now happily married and living back in Japan in the back waters of Hyogo pref. about an hour from Kobe..
It's rather warm here, but I'm loving it... The shops are full of great reasonably priced stuff and the service is still as top notch as ever. Do you want some Asahi sending? Ha ha!
All the best and thanks again..
Jerry. Hyogo, Japan.

Posted by Jerry at 2009/07/12 03:29:34.

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