Monday, May 23, 2011

Train Ride...

Our train ride from Koln to London was uneventful. I was nervous about the Chunnel; I'd seen what happened when Tom Cruise took that ride! But the most we got was a crabby baby on the Koln/Brussels leg, and a backwards ride, meaning an iffy tummy, on the Brussels/London leg.

I did get to experience first-hand the obsessive obedience of the Germans. As we boarded our train in Koln, there was a back-up in the line to get into the passenger compartment. Two of us were left on the platform at the conductor blew his whistle. The cabin lady started yelling, "Get up in there! Quickly!" There was no arguing with her. Regardless of the fact that there was literally NO WHERE to go, she began pushing us up into the vestibule. The train was rolling as the doors closed, and we were lucky to have fallen into it instead of back onto the platform.

And I also got to experience first-hand the legendary courtesy of the British. As we entered the Brussels/London train, I had a really tough time getting our souvenir suitcase up onto the train. (Yeah, I know, quit shopping already!) I was really struggling, and a nice man grabbed it, put it up into the vestibule, and extended his hand to help me in. He then said, "I'm going to suggest you put it here, on the bottom shelf, next to mine. This is far too heavy for you to be lifting." Later, as we got off the train, I told Mary that I was leaving her one bag on the shelf, but that I would come back into the train to get it. She left, I left, and, when I turned around to go back in, a male hand was handing that bag out through the door. He then followed us onto the platform, telling us the history of St. Pancras station, and all but begging us to "stay a bit and look around at this lovely place." (We did.)

We spent one night in London (we'll be back later) and headed out to Canterbury...

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