Leaving Paris

I awoke around 7:00, showered, and began packing my things to leave Paris.  Holly got up and joined me, and we checked out of the hotel and entered the metro station right outside its doors.  One stop later, at the Gare du Nord, we redeemed our ticket vouchers for our actual Eurostar tickets, and then checked in for our 11:13 a.m. train.

We then went through French passport control, had to fill out immigration cards for the UK passport control (which is done in France, which is a bit odd).  The 10:00 train was boarding, and I was a bit confused as to where we boarded the 11:00, so I showed my ticket to a Eurostar agent who told me we would board in the same place in about 50 minutes.

Holly got herself a croissant and a coke for breakfast, and then sat with the bags while I bought a chocolat au pain and a grille aux pommes, plus an orange juice.  Both bread products were tasty, though the chocolat au pain was the better of the two.  I had a few Euros in coins in my pocket, and spent those on a hot chocolate and a croissant a bit later to eat as an early lunch, as we'd be on the train then.

Somewhere along here, I somehow stupidly managed to lose our tickets.  I don't know how, or where.  I don't know if I did it when paying for Holly's food, or if I threw them out along with the paper sacks that contained my food, or exactly what happened, but when we went to depart, they were gone, and no amount of stressful digging in my pockets or bags produced them.

At this point, my blood pressure skyrocketed, and I sought the help of the same woman who I'd shown the tickets to earlier.  I remembered our coach and seat numbers, but she couldn't let us board without the tickets, and said that they wouldn't have time to re-issue them to us, and for us to go back through passport control to make the 11:13 train.

I frantically searched some more, to no avail, and then she was nice enough to walk us all the way back out through the check-in gates, and take us to the first class ticket office, where they were able to issue us new tickets for a 23 euro charge.  At that point, i was glad to pay the 23 euros, as I was sick to my stomach at the thought of shelling out $200+ for two new tickets due to my carelessness.  The agent explained our situation to the counter agent, and shepherded us through the whole process, which was very kind of her.

We then went through passport control again for France and the UK, and they stamped our passports again, not even noticing that they'd just been stamped less than an hour before, and soon we were back waiting for the train again, this time the 12:19, and Holly kept track of her own ticket, as she (rightfully) wasn't going to trust me with hers again.

At noon we boarded the train, and found that we had seats in the center of the coach, and that the seats facing us had no occupants, so I hopped in one of those, so we can actually face each other for the trip.  A young british woman with her baby were sitting behind us, and she asked if they could join us, as the seats in the center of the car had a bid more room for her fidgity toddler to squirm around in.

The Eurostar train moves pretty fast, and as I was facing backwards to the motion of the train, I started to get a bit motion-sick, as did Holly, who was facing forwards.  She retrieved some motion-sickness pills from her luggage, and bought a bottle of water to wash them down with.

After an hour and a half of chugging along the French countryside, we entered the Chunnel, to spend half an hour in darkness before emerging in Britain.

The architecture change was apparent as soon as we exited the Chunnel, and I noticed the cars now driving on the left side.  After another 45 minutes or so, we reached Waterloo station, and disembarked in London.