Old Nov 13th, 1998, 06:17 AM
estelle cangeme
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We will be taking the chunnel from London to Paris in a few weeks.
Would appreciate feedback/suggestions from anyone who has done this.
Old Nov 13th, 1998, 07:47 AM
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Hi Estelle, We did a chunnel roundtrip in September. We "tubed" down to Waterloo station (London) a few days before we wanted to go to get tickets. The cheapest were sold out, but we did get discounted tickets and made seat selection then. That beat doing/chancing it on the travel day. Enjoyed the ride very much, believe it was 3+ hours. Food and beverages in economy class okay and not horribly priced. For any further info please email me. Enjoy!

Old Nov 13th, 1998, 08:05 AM
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Have taken the chunnel twice (Paris/Brussels). If there are more than two of you travelling, would suggest reserving the "family" seats. They are in the middle of the cars, two bench seats facing each other with a table in the middle. With kids along, the extra "play/drawing/game" space really helped (especially under the channel when there is no scenery to look at). It's a great way to travel. Enjoy!
Old Nov 13th, 1998, 08:27 AM
Nigel Doran
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I have travelled several times on the Eurostar, both to Paris and Brussels and in both first and standard class. I have never encountered delays and found all trips enjoyable and good value.
The best suggestion is to book ahead as far as possible. If you want, you can try to book whilst abroad, but you may find it better if you come to U K and book the tickets there. I think there are special tickets for booking a week in advance, or spending a Saturday there etc., so it is best to contact them and find out what your options are. It beats flying anyday.
Take your own sandwiches from Boots the Chemist in Waterloo station, and buy a bottle of wine from the supermarket rather than pay the highish prices on the train.
Old Nov 13th, 1998, 08:38 AM
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We took the chunnel last year and thoroughly enjoyed. We splurged on first class seats since we figured it was a once in a lifetime journey. We bought our tickets before we left home - about 2 months in advance. The food was good and our seats were very comfortable - facing each other with a table in between. As soon as the train pulled out, champagne was served with lunch following shortly. We had a choice of a chicken dish or prawns with Godiva chocolate for dessert.
Old Nov 13th, 1998, 10:35 AM
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The Eurostar trip is very enjoyable. Take note of the fact that the English put more money into the station, (very modern, great amentities) while the French put money into the track. You will travel much faster on the France side but when you get to the station in Paris you have to pay to use the grungy restroom!
Old Nov 13th, 1998, 06:56 PM
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We bought our tickets in Paris a few days before we travelled. We received a discount because we had a Eurail pass. The ride was awesome, you are only in the chunnel for maybe 45 minutes. I got a British stamp in my passport that says "Channel Tunnel" - I think that's my favorite one!!!
Old Nov 16th, 1998, 02:32 PM
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The Chunnel is a godsend; got on in the city, get off in the city. Metro/underground to/from the station (Waterloo in London, Gare du Nord in Paris) instead of hours in a cab to and from airports.

The gates lock down about a 1/2 hour before the train leaves and you don't get on! Unlike other trains that you can board seconds before they depart, the Chunnel is extremely security-minded and wants everyone in the waiting area early.

I've taken the Chunnel both directions, to all three countries, and kiss the feet of the engineers who did it. Many MANY times I took the ferry and lost a whole day of sightseeing.

The Chunnel's not cheap, but if you're going to be in Europe for a short time, it's worth the money to save the time (so eat supermarket food and don't go to the Folies Bergere).

The Chunnel food is ok; you can use sterling, ff and bf so if you've got coins of the country you're leaving (which no bank will exchange), use them to buy a soda or beer or whatever. There are 3-6 of us who travel together, we'll pool our coins and share in the booty. The little bar car runs out of food sometimes, so buy sandwiches in the city before you leave and a big bottle of water (man, that train is DRY).

The "onboard" magazine is very cool; each article is printed in English, French and Flemish (so are the menus in the bar car; good way to learn Flemish).

The whole trip takes 3 1/2 hours (remember to set your watches ahead/back depending on which way you're going) but you're in the Channel (in the dark, underground, ears popping) for only about 20 minutes.

Oh yeah Gare du Nord is being rehabbed as we speak; jackhammers, dust, workers everywhere. My hope is they'll gussy it up to look as good as Waterloo, but I'm not holding my breath (well, actually I AM until the dust settles). And the toilets ARE unexplainable, down by left luggage.
GOOD thing: Gare du Nord has an RER station AND Metro stop right inside the gare. Saves beaucoup time (RER line goes right to St Michel and Luxembourg stops) and that glazed tourist look as you wonder around outside looking for a metro stop.

Have fun!

Old Nov 16th, 1998, 04:32 PM
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Hi Estelle,
Took the chunnel recently from London to Paris. Reserved tickets directly by phone while in London (they will hold them with a credit card number). They are cheaper if you can book 7 days in advance. We traveled mid-morning, tourist class and to our surprise there were only about six other people in our car so we could sit anywhere. The ride is enjoyable-clean and modern (unlike usual trains & planes). We always had a big breakfast at our hotel so usually skipped lunch. If you are the same, you could take snack food and a drink along just in case. You can purchase sandwiches etc. on board but the price is inflated for what you get. The scenery was nice across the countryside and it seemed like we were only on board for half an hour. Carried a magazine which I never looked at but did read through some Paris info I took along. The only problem we had with the chunnel was that we had several pieces of luggage so did not want to take the escalator to the boarding area. The people who worked there couldn't tell us where the elevator was. We finally stood in line at the information desk and they told us where to find it but when we did--it was being serviced so we had to take the escalator. By the time we stacked our luggage to manage the escalator and arrived upstairs the last of the group seemed to be boarding and our car was one at the very end so we hurried with our luggage and were releaved that the car was not busy and we could load our luggage on easily (there is luggage storage just inside the entrance door--so it is a do it yourself deal). When you arrive in Paris, there is a cab stand just outside the terminal (usually with a line of people who have just arrived but it goes quickly because there is also a line of cabs). Loved Paris!!!

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