Don't Want to Offend - but.......

Old Apr 21st, 2005, 01:30 PM
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Don't Want to Offend - but.......

Hi All
My question has to do with what to expect on the Eurostar train that goes under the Channel from London to Calais. After reviewing several postings on this site, evidently it is inappropriate to use the word "Chunnel" for some reason. I just want to know that if one has not done it before, is it worth the effort, or should we just fly into Paris rather than London (from Texas). It sounds kinda cool, but comparied to some on this board, I'm certainly not very sophisticated, and my perspective may be limited. Thanks for your help.
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 01:37 PM
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Taking the Eurostar from London to Paris seemed like taking any other train to me, nothing very exciting about it, I wouldn't do it just for the experience.

It's a good way to get from London to Paris if you need to do that anyway. But don't go out of your way.

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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 01:43 PM
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If you want to take the Eurostar just to say you've done it, you get the train in London at Waterloo Station and it takes you into the center of Paris at Gare de Nord. It's a fun ride but depending on the class of servie, the time of day, and the day of the week, it can be on the expensive side. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there is a train that goes to Calais but not the Eurostar? But in the end, if Paris is the goal, there would be no reason to go to Calais unless you especially wanted to...renting a car, viewing the Normandy war sites etc. Also, if you aren't planning any time in London, then I would suggest just flying into Paris. I really liked taking Eurostar, and frankly wouldn't do anything else between London and Paris, but if I wasn't planning on spending time in London, I wouldn't fly into London with the sole purpose of taking the Eurostar to Paris. It's pretty cool, but not THAT cool.
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 01:43 PM
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Are you visiting London AND Paris? If so, the Eurostar is a wonderful way to travel between the two. But if you are really just going to Paris - it makes no sense to fly into London, travel all the way across the city, and then take the train to Paris.

(if you do, you will not have the feeling of being under the Channel - it is a high speed train that several miles before the coast goes gradually underground into a long tunnel and comes back up to the surface inland in France.)
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 02:04 PM
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Just got back from London and Paris. It wasn't anything special, just like a nice train. It was convenient taking you from downtown London to downtown Paris. It did cost almost 190.00 round trip per person.
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 02:22 PM
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For train geeks, it's a fun thing to do (even though there is no sense of being in the tunnel). If you want to do it just to do it, there is an overnight round trip fare on weekends called the "night trip" that sells for $58. The restrictions listed at eurostar.com are:

<b>Availbable from 4pm until 10.30am the following day. Maximum stay - 1 night. Available Saturday and Sunday only.</b>

So you could fly into Paris, immediately go to London and spend the night, then come back to Paris the following morning.
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 02:53 PM
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I agree, if you're not actually staying in London, it's not worth landing in London just to take the train to Paris. Much better to just fly into Paris.
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 11:00 PM
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Hi

If your destination is Paris, but air tickets to London are a better price, it may make sense.

Generally in Europe it is cheaper to take the low cost airlines than the train.

Peter
www.the-languedoc-page.com
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Old Apr 22nd, 2005, 05:36 AM
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<i>...if one has not done it before, is it worth the effort...</i> - ABSOLUTELY!

You could fly into London, ride a sightseeing bus around for a few hours, then take the evening train to Paris. You'll be jet-lagged, but even so I think seeing London even superficially is better than not seeing it at all. It will be a looooong day, but I think you'd be glad you did it.

If you have more luggage than you can comfortably schlep around, take it to Waterloo station (where the Eurostar departs) and check it before you head out. Other threads in this forum deal with getting in to London from the airports. Taxi is expensive and hassle-free; Tube is cheap, fast, and spartan.

Either buy a commercial bus tour such as <b>theoriginaltour.com</b> (pricey) or do it yourself with this:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...p;tid=34535187

If you choose the Tube to get to town and the DiY tour, buy either a Day Travelcard or a Family Travelcard at the station at Heathrow. These will both get you unlimited travel on both the Tube and buses.

There are many Eurostar fares - sometimes buying a round-trip and abandoning the return coupon is cheapest. <b>eurostar.com</b>
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Old Apr 22nd, 2005, 06:37 AM
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I don't think we have enough information to answer this question. in general, i would say &quot;no&quot; it's not worth it.

do you save time/money flying into london from TX? how much time do you have? will you do it both ways? will you spend time in london?

unless you have unlimited time, i would maximise my time and money in paris rather than travelling from heathrow or gatwick to waterloo, waiting, staring at a black window on the train (views other than the tunnel are not very inspiring).

as for the term &quot;chunnel&quot;, it's not inappropriate. the term is just not used in europe as it is outside of europe. if you say chunnel perhaps most people would know what you are talking about but it will sound very strange to europeans.

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Old Apr 22nd, 2005, 07:01 AM
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Shrink, the Eurostar is an experience.
OK, it is just a train and I have made the journey several times, but to speed along at 300mph-fantastic passing the cars on the freeway right beside you! In the early years it was not as expensive to travel 1st/Premier Class and if you had lunch on board it was served on dinner plates, white starched napkins, one course at a time! Not now though but I stand to be corrected if it has changed.
My travelling companions meeting me in Paris have just got a super deal with a return fare to London for R500 ( please work that out in your own currency)R stands for South African Rands. The only stipulation was they can only travel weekdays not incl. Friday.
You must do in style if you can!!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2005, 07:58 AM
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I'm a train person and did it once. It was a ride like any other ride, except you can't see anything while you are in the tunnel. I thought I might see us going down into the tunnel, but no. We could have been in a mountain.

I don't think it's worth the effort unless you are into trains, want to avoid the airport, are afraid to fly, or need a 3 hour rest.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2005, 08:28 AM
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Shrink - the ride through the actual tunnel only takes 20 minutes, the rest is speeding through French farmlands.
The journey out of Waterloo to the entrance of the tunnel is much slower than the speed the train reaches when in France.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2005, 09:04 AM
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Chunnel Chunnel Chunnel....so there who says it can not be called the chunnel????????
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Old Apr 24th, 2005, 10:39 AM
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ah, who said you can't call it the chunnel? go right ahead.

it doesn't go 300 mph. far from it.
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Old Apr 24th, 2005, 11:17 AM
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Hi, Shrink. I, too, am from Texas and we are going to Europe in June and going to take the Eurostar just because we don't have trains in our area and it is intriquing to us. We are taking it back from Brussels to London.
Have a great trip and let us know about Paris. We aren't going there except maybe a day trip.
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Old Apr 24th, 2005, 11:50 AM
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Think of calling it &quot;Chunnel&quot; as analagous to calling SF &quot;Frisco&quot;

As to savoring the experience - well, it's not all that big a deal unless you are a true aficiando. The 20 minute or so tunnel portion is like having an MRI in a train car but you get to move around. If your destination is Paris and you can book to there for a reasonable cost, I'd do just that. If you can save major bucks flying into London and using Eurostar it may be worth considering - did this once, but only because it saved a load on airfare.
If you do decide to turn this into a two city trip, the major advantage of the train is that you depart and arrive center city, avoiding the time, hassle and expense of getting to/from the airport.
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Old Apr 24th, 2005, 12:04 PM
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&gt;&gt; <i>Think of calling it &quot;Chunnel&quot; as analagous to calling SF &quot;Frisco.&quot;</i>

You really should contact the editors at BBC News with that revelation. A quick search of BBC.com news stories just showed 57 examples of &quot;<i>chunnel</i>&quot; being used in articles to describe that channel crossing tunnel.

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Old Apr 24th, 2005, 12:17 PM
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&quot;the major advantage of the train is that you depart and arrive center city, avoiding the time, hassle and expense of getting to/from the airport.&quot;

Normally this is definitely true. But in this case it is a LOT more hassle since there is no easy or convenient way to get from LHR to Waterloo International.

Shrink's post sounds like they are going to Paris and are only considering London if they decide to take the Eurostar.

(You can call it whatever you want - just like the &quot;Frisco&quot; example, everyone will know what you are talking about. But also just like &quot;Frisco&quot;, it is pretty tacky.)
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Old Apr 24th, 2005, 12:22 PM
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<i> &quot;Channel Tunnel, popularly called the “Chunnel,” a three-tunnel railroad connection running under the English Channel, connecting Folkestone, England, and Calais, France.
The tunnels are 31 mi (50 km) long. There are two rail tunnels, each 25 ft (7.6 m) in diameter, and a central tunnel, 16 ft (4.8 m) in diameter, that is used for maintenance and ventilation.

The depth of the tunnels below the seabed averages about 150 ft (45 m). The project is a joint English and French venture, with a 55-year concession granted to Eurotunnel, a private company, and is the centerpiece of a high-speed rail link between London and Paris.

The project began with the signing of the Channel Tunnel Treaty between France and Britain in 1986; passenger service began in 1994.&quot;</i>
They call it the Chunnel on the Euro rail site also..

We took the Eurostar years ago, from London where we were staying for 2 weeks, to Paris where we stayed for a weekend. It was perfect for that sort of trip, but I would not fly into London, just to experience the train to Paris. It makes the trip too long.
But if you want to take a quick trip from one place to the other, it is great!
It left from London going as slow as any train, past small hamlets and meadows with sheep..then it got a little boring. Then the Tunnel which made me nervous but was over quickly then we sped up to the speed that the tracks are built for on the French side ( or at least that is the way it was a few years ago.)
It was also a treat to go to Waterloo and to come out at the Gare du Nord, both wonderful train stations.
Good luck and I hope you do it, it is fun
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