Day 1: Runaway Train

‘So excited for Paris!’ I thought to myself after I woke up early at 7 this morning and finished my last bits of packing. With everything ready to go by half 8, I steadily made my way to St Pancras station (which is a quick 10 mins underground from my home) to meet my Eurostar train at 9:24. Even when I looked at the time on my phone, I thought to myself that there was still plenty of time. How wrong I was…

Now, in all fairness, I could only blame about what happen next on myself. When I arrived at the Eurostar entrance at 9am, it turned out that the gate had already closed for my train. 😱 I was unaware that the gate would close about an hour before the train’s designated time (which was stated in very small writings on the ticket). It turned out, however, that I wasn’t alone in that boat as I queued outside ticket office among many people who had also similarly missed their trains. I did have a brief chat with the guy in front of me (who was from Paris and was heading back after few days of training in London). He told me that he too made the same mistake the first time he took a Eurostar train, which made me felt a little better about myself haha (he was late this time because of his friend who was late picking him up to the station).

Now, just to make matters slightly worse, the queue in the ticket office was moving very slowly as they only opened one counter (which probably was the thing that irked me the most at that point 🙄). It turned out though that the ticket change can be done on the self-service machines next right to the ticket office (which the friendly guy in front of me quickly advised me to go over after he went to try them himself as I watched his bags 😁). The two ladies over the self-service counters were very helpful. I had a minor panic attack when I thought there were no later trains to go to Paris today. (It turned out that because I booked my tickets through an agency, replacement trains don’t show up on the screen…. Don’t ask me why lol!)

The train is boarding! 👍

After paying a bit of a hefty fee of £44, I was finally able to get the ticket for the train at 12:24. This gave me about an hour to kill in the station, which involved me buying a small sushi from M&S and calling my mum on the phone. (‘I told you to go to the station earlier!’ she said. 😓) I was surprised by how packed it was at the gate by the time I went over. And there was a little story saga when I bumped into the lady who sorted the new ticket for me (she was ushering people forward at the passport control). She instantly recognised me and said, ‘Oh, you again?’ To which, I said, ‘I am not late this time!’ 😂 (which earned a ‘well done’ from her lol!)

All abroad!
First thing I ate as I stepped foot into France (or rather the train did lol!)

While there was a slight minor delay with the train, but things got moving pretty fast after and I snatched an empty row that no-one ended up sitting on. 😏 The train ride was only 2 hours and to be fair, it felt even less. The train was moving so fast that I was swaying from side to side as I walked down the carriage to the mini bar!

The main entrance of Gare du Nord
Inside Gare du Nord

I could literally feel the heat by the time we arrived in Gare du Nord station. It was a warm day in Paris (and part of me is now dreading about the fact it will be getting hotter in the coming days 😓), and I wasted no time to get to the hotel first. The feel of air con after 10 minutes walk from the station was well worth it!

However, I was starving by that time (having only ate a sushi and two madeleines throughout the whole day), so I was honestly ready for a big meal! I searched up places to eat nearby online and found Terminus Nord which is right opposite Gare du Nord station. It is a classic French restaurant opened since 1925, and I was most definitely in the mood for some classic French dishes.

Rouge Burgundy Snails
Grilled Vendée Duck Breast
Crêpes Suzette flambéed in Grand Marnier and Lime Sorbet

If you are wondering, this was not the first time I ate snails (In fact I had it many times before. For some reasons, they were common in many European restaurants in Hong Kong…) The duck breast and the crêpes suzette were both delicious, and I was quite surprised by how much I liked the latter. (It was one of those dishes I always knew about but never had lol.) Here is also a video of the server doing the flambé for the crêpes in front of me. 👇

To end the day, I leapt to the supermarket after for some sweets and drinks in preparation for the upcoming hot weather.

I’ve never seen this version of Haribo in the UK before. Is it only available in France?

Anyway, that’s it for now. Hopefully, I will be sharing more with you all over the next few days. The adventure has only just begun! 😀

4 thoughts on “Day 1: Runaway Train

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