Skip to content


Thanks to the automatic five trillion percent London markup, airfare from Paris to London proved to be no cheaper than taking a high speed train underwater. That almost makes sense coming from the domestic air market in the States, but looks odd in Europe. So I took the

eurostar 9025 Paris Nord–London Waterloo 3 Jan 1143-1325

The journey was a typical high-speed one, with immigration pre-clearance in Gare du Nord and with me conked out for all of the in-tunnel segment. Oops.

I stayed one night at the Astor Museum Inn–not for as long as I liked, but long enough for that place. I guess it wasn’t bad–fairly clean, right near the British Museum–but not having hot water is no fun.

In retrospect I should have dropped London entirely or booked tickets out of London for the return journey, but I figured this gave me at least as long as I spent in Paris in 2004.

As part of a process of gentle encouragement for Londoners to switch from their paper Tube tickets to the Oyster contactless smart card, a single paper return fare on the Tube cost more than a paper day-pass. I jumped on the false economy enthusiastically and made good use of two passes.

I started making use of my night-seeing technique, reserving extensive and free sight-seeing for the night when attractions were closed and attractions were lighted. In this way I saw all the stereotypical central London sights. During the daytime, I explored the excellent (and free) Tate Modern and the excellent, free, and ginourmous British Museum. That’s about all I’d time for then but since I didn’t get close to finishing one section of the British Museum I don’t feel I wasted much time.

Everything was ridiculously expensive. I don’t remember how many pounds I took out on arrival at Waterloo station, but I had only a couple coins left by the time I paid for my transport, night of hostel, and key deposit.

On my way out, in Victoria Station, I was pleased to find the first automatic ticketing machine in Europe to take a chipless credit card from me. Shunning the “Gatwick Express” I caught a Southern train for a slightly lower price and fiddled around.

An interesting thing about Gatwick is that the passenger waiting area on airside is consolidated: that is, everyone waits in a massive central mall area and the gate is announced 10 or 20 minutes prior to boarding. The departure lounges at the gates, as a result, are much smaller affairs and all the shopping and services are in the central chaos. I’m not sure if I like the idea or not, but it looks efficient.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *