I’m pretty sure neither of us expected much out of London. I mean, hey, they speak English there. I am therefore pleased to report to the class that we both absolutely loved London, and are extremely glad we decided to make a stop there.
From the beginning we should have known it was going to be a smash and grab job. We left Aix en Provence, and France as a whole, on the night of the fifth. It was very bittersweet. The past week with Delana had been absolutely amazing, and the idea of not being back to the land of Brie and Baguettes still brings a tear to my eye. But one must move forward. The portion of that day’s travel that involved planes actually went quite smoothly, it was once we landed that things got a little wild. For starters, our shuttle driver from the airport to the train station was absolutely bonkers. He had affectations reminiscent of Patrick Bateman, and the driving habits of Keanu Reeves (think Speed,not The Matrix). Boy were we glad when we got to the station!
At Stratford station we met our second set of obstacles. Namely, the train card machine would only sell us one card on our credit card. These purchases were made with the temporal understanding that we really had to work fast because the last train that could take us to our station (or so we thought) was leaving in about five minutes. After asking a train station employee for assistance, and not really learning anything new, we were saved by a mustachioed gentleman in a bowler hat. He gave me his day-pass, and since it was still ten to midnight, I was able to use it to get on the train.
The next station involved missing our final direct train, being helped by a very kind station employee, using the station’s telephone to call our wonderful host who was waiting up for us, finding out there was one more chance to get home by train, running, doing one of those in-the-movies things where your hand flies through the closing train door thus stopping it from leaving and allowing you to get on, making it safely to your train, making it safely to your lodging, having a beer with your host, and collapsing.
To think, we haven’t even gotten to the meat of the experience yet! More soon…