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July 17, 2015 / Jim Fenton

Europe Day 10: Chunnel and Normandy

Friday, June 12, 2015

Leaving St. Pancras International

Leaving St. Pancras International

We got a good start today and headed for the Tube. I was a little dubious about trying to get on the Tube with our luggage during rush hour, but after letting one crowded train pass we got on just fine. Arriving at St. Pancras International Station, a gleaming new facility that contrasts with the original building, we needed to collect the tickets that we had ordered online. I went to a ticket counter that said “international”, and tried to get tickets from the machine, but it wanted a collection reference number I didn’t have. So I waited in line for an agent, who told me I was at the wrong place. Ugh. Down the hall we went, and got checked in quickly. Of course, we also had the usual international formalities: security and passport control. We made it through about 5 minutes before the train was called.

The trip was uneventful. We hadn’t booked the trip very far in advance, so I had to sit separately from Kenna and Celeste. I turned on my GPS, and it recorded a maximum speed of 190 miles per hour across the French countryside. Still, we ended up being 20 minutes late into Paris Gare du Nord, even though we didn’t notice any delays enroute.

Entrance to Domaine de Bayeux

Entrance to Domaine de Bayeux

After a quick lunch at a snack bar in the station, we picked up our rental car at Hertz and started our drive to Normandy. Traffic leaving Paris was slow as one might expect on a Friday afternoon. We made our way to Bayeux, our base for the next couple of days, and found the hotel quickly. Our room at the Domaine de Bayeux is amazing! It’s a roomy, recently renovated suite with a loft up a circular stair that delighted Celeste.

Even though we got in late, the restaurants are open later. We had dinner at the Reine Mathilde restaurant which was very pleasant and a nice introduction to French cuisine.

This article is part of a series about our recent vacation in Europe. To see the introductory article in the series, click here.

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