Mind The Gap02 Sep 2007 My previous post was around 6am I believe, right before I left for the busstation.
In this post I'll show you what kind of hell it was to travel to Cambridge.
Starting with the bus.
The (earliest) bus was supposed to leave at 7.19am. It would take me to the trainstation and give me plenty of time to spare to catch my train at 7.35 or 7.40. Both of those trains would then take my to the Eurostar departure point where I had to check in before 8.29am.
I said should alot, because I didn't take into account the Belgian Bus-system. Instead of arriving at 7.19am, the bus didn't show up at all. I had to take the next bus at 7.34am, which of course didn't arrive at the trainnstation in time.
The train for Brussels south leaves at 8.02am on platform 1. So I hurry up to get there
The track is out of service. Luckily I notice that the platform next to it is going to where I would like to go, so I go there instead.
3 minutes late, the train departs. It was set to arrive at 8.30am, but would arrive at 8.33am instead (taking into account the delay)
When I get off the train, my colleague is waiting at the Eurostar checkin point. For some reason (they must know the Belgian public transport well), they prolonged the checkin period from 8.30 untill 8.50. So this is the first sgn of luck today.
Checking in means running your card through a machine, x-raying the luggage, passport check by the Belgian people, checking the passport again by British immigration and then going to the train itself.
The train leaves in time. We should arrive in London at 10.51am local time (2 hours 51 mins later)
We make a (very) brief stop in Lille (France). Apparently, this train doesn't just have 1 destination.
We leave shortly after...
Anouncement: some passengers got off at Lille with invalid tickets. As a security precaution, we have to go back to Lille and everyone has to get off the train, through customs and checkin again while the security people search the train with dogs(!)
We're back in Lille.
We're back on the train, again leaving for London
Approaching and entering the Tunnel. Looking outside, people are really serious about the security ;)
There's barbed wire in 2 rows everywhere
11.30am local time
We're out of the tunnel
12.15 local time
Arrival in London
The subway leaves
We arrive in London King's cross. Note that we missed our connection between subways (because we weren't sure which side of the platform we had to be on) and we could take the nenxt one only 5 minutes later.
The train for Cambridge leaves at 13.52, so we take the time to have lunch.
People in London don't like it when you take their picture. Unlike inn Belgium, people here easily cry out "No pictures please" when they notice you taking a picture.
Oh btw, the security checks here are tremendous ;) Police everywhere (no pictures) and every 2 minutes someone announces something like "Please don't leave your luggage unattended. Unattended items are removed and destroyed"
anyway, there are some interesting things:
That's a defibrilator :)
And thats the train.
The train leaves, on time. And not just on time! The train conductor stood next to the train with his watch, counting the seconnds. That's also something you don't see in Belgium: every clock in the trainstation shows SECONDS. Learn from it, NMBS
Arrival in Camnbridge
"Mind The Gap" is a message that was announced every 10 seconds in one of the subway stations when the doors opened. There was a small gap between the subway-wagon and the platform.