Saturday, 18 May 2019

9 Place d’Ariane (Serris, France)

I was up early this morning so I’d would be ready to meet up with Rick, Aletha and James at 9:00 to order their Uber for the airport. I received a text from Aletha saying that their flight was delayed. Fortunately, this put their departure at the same time as mine.

It all worked out well. Their Uber showed up very quickly and we said our goodbyes and they were off to the airport. I wheeled my suitcase across the square to the train station and started my journey to the Gare du Nord station where the Eurostar departs for London. Timing-wise I had no margin for error since I was leaving at 10:30 for a 12:13 train and had two transfers.

I arrived at Gare du Nord just about when I expected, though I had to find, then walk to the platform. It turns out the train I arrived on was at the lowest level of the station and I needed to go up four flights to get to the Eurostar area. In addition I needed to pass through security and Passport Control. At security the Eurostar people were very helpful to ensure that I got to the platform on time. And I was on board about 10 minutes before we were scheduled to depart. I was relieved that I didn’t have to do anything extraordinary to meet the train.

The journey from Paris to London is about two hours, with no stops. The train slows down to 100 mph when it goes through the Channel Tunnel but otherwise it travels at around 180 mph. I bought a sandwich and a bottle of water at the station before leaving Paris and seemingly before I knew it we were rolling into London’s St. Pancras station.

As I got off the train my leg started to bother me again. It must have been from sitting so long, though I did get up a couple of times to move about. I’m getting concerned that my sciatica nerve issue with my back is not getting any better. I was getting better for awhile, but I think the bed in Serris was too soft for me. Also, since I’ve been trying to sleep on my left side, I don’t think that helped out either. Guess I need to start doing some exercises to put everything back as it was. And go back to sleeping on my right side.

I was able to take the underground from St. Pancras/King’s Cross to the underground station that is minutes from my hotel. Within 15 minutes I was in my room at the Doubletree in Islington.

After I took a long nap I walked over to the nearby Marks & Spencer and bought a sandwich and beer. I wasn’t really that hungry but thought I’d better has someone to eat when I was.

After posting two blog updates yesterday I was looking forward to watch The Crown which was available via the ITV Player. The third season of The Crown wasn’t available to watch outside the U.S. or the U.K. I figured out how to mirror the broadcast from my phone to the TV in my room. I could have watched from my laptop but watching on a big screen TV is better.

After watching a couple of episodes I was ready for bed. Ironically the episodes that I watched had to do with the effect of King Louis Philippe’s abdication as a result of the French Revolution of 1848. He left France and stayed with Victoria and Albert, though this caused some problems with the people of England who were not, at the time, very happy with the oppressive working conditions in England.

My left leg bothered me several times during the night. I’ll continue doing exercises to reduce the numbness and pain. I’ll probably visit a specialist in Edinburgh if the pain continues.

Tomorrow I’ll visit Buckingham Palace and walk in nearby Green Park and St. James’ Park. And nap too.

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