Tag Archives: High Speed Train

Dorset, England – Shaftesbury

A smooth pleasant Eurostar trip from Paris last Friday. The 8:43am train and our 9:06am train were both delayed “because of operational issues.” We were able to switch to the earlier train, actually left about 9:30am. Arrival in London St. Pancras was a bit chaotic, no info booth, poor signage. I had considered the Underground for the next stage, but we have accumulated too much stuff, suitcases too heavy to want to be schlepping through a series of train connections. So we found a cab. Rode to our rental car pick up outside of Heathrow airport.
We wanted a car with auto transmission (I’ve done manual here before with no drama, but that was a few years ago…), with built-in GPS. They gave us a nice Mercedes. After 10 minutes of orientation, adjustment, programming the GPS, I drove 1/2 mile, could not work out why an alarm bell was ringing. Did a U-turn of sorts. Back through the car return section, pulled to the front. “This car is broken, give me something else.” A guy fiddled around, tried pounding on the hood/bonnet. ‘Loose bonnet warning.’ We drove 50 feet, all seemed good. Left. As soon as we reached about 20mph the alarm started up again. I was beyond the U-turn point, went on to a big roundabout, survived, got back to the rental place. Demanded a working car. They swapped the Mercedes for a Jaguar. Another 10 minutes of orientation, adjustment, programming the GPS…
The drive to Shaftesbury itself had no drama except that I kept going too far left as I am used to left-hand drive and expect my viewpoint to be closer to that side of the road. We passed by Stonehenge, heralded by warning signs about backups in traffic, and by police and ambulance sirens, vehicles responding to a serious accident due to slow downs as people gawked at the site.
We survived, we arrived in Shaftesbury, and soon after we found a Tescos and bought some wine. Today was leisurely, walked the edges of the original hill town, great views. Walked High Street, did some shopping.

And on to Paris

Tuesday was a travel day, another ride on the Spanish high speed train, this time from Barceloneta to Paris. A bit of a struggle getting too much too heavy luggage up to the second level on the car, but we were quickly settled into comfortable seats and ready to watch the Spanish and French countryside go by at up to 294kph.

About a 6 1/2 hour journey with several brief stops along the way. A cab ride through heavy traffic, past the Norte Dame 😥, and on to our hotel. Which, Surprise!, turned out to be not a small hotel as advertised, but rather a back bedroom in someone’s apartment. An airbnb masquerading as a hotel. Oh well, we are here, it is reasonably comfortable, and Paris is all around!

(Images below a bit out of sequence… Sorry about that!)