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28 April 2016

Reading, UK
Today was another quick trip to another country, the UK.

I set off bright and early to get the Eurostar out of Paris Nord (Gare du Nord) to St Pancras (Kings Crossing station) in the UK. To get to Gare du Nord, I had to take two separate metros, which wasn’t that bad. It is unbelievable how fast the metros come. There is one literally every 3 minutes.

Gare du Nord train station is absolutely stunning both in beauty and in engineering. I included some pictures below. I met my colleague and we were off for the day. Since we were leaving France, we had to go through border control. Which was a much smoother process than TSA. Taking trains, when convenient, is the way to go. After security grilling me about why I was in France and going to the UK for only the day, we boarded the train. We had a new shiny Eurostar, with plugs and WiFi. Well by WiFi, I mean internet that cut out every 15 minutes on our 2 and a half hour train ride.

However, I did not get much work done as I got in the inside seat and took in the French country side. The fields go on as far as the eye can see. Then a small town pops up. You can tell the center of town based on the steeple from the local church. It looks like something out of the movies. At one point the train stopped (it can go up to 350 km/h) and I took a picture (see below)

Once in at St. Pancras, which was (almost) equally as beautiful as Gare du Nord, (You be the judge) we headed to get tickets to take a train to Reading. I must say the train and tube workers in the UK and much friendlier (and are around every corner) than in Paris. We were able to ask questions to make sure we got the right tickets and that we wouldn’t get lost. We took the tube from Kings Crossing to Paddington where we then took a train to Reading. All in all, from Paris to Reading, it was about 3 and a half hours.

We had a lovely lunch with our UK team followed by very productive meetings. We said farewell and started the trek back the same way we came. Train, metro, Train, metro, metro.

At the King’s Crossing station, we were early for the Eurostar so we grabbed a British bite to eat at Mi Mo, in the station. I got a British Cider, which for cider lovers out there, if you can find it, its amazing (picture below). I had some British cheese and meats and my colleague had pot pie. Perfect cap to my first business trip to the UK.

All in all, it was a very productive day but not quite as draining as the trip the Switzerland. When I can, I will be going by train.

Step Count: 11,728, 5.42 miles
Gare du Nord
French Countryside
St Pancras
British Cider
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