Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday 28 September - Travel Paris to London

We were up and away in plenty of time to catch the Metro, line 2 to La Chapelle.  The trains were running at 2-3 minute intervals and we had seats.  At La Chapelle we walked into Gare du Nord where we had an easy check in and boarded the 0913 in plenty of time.  The train left promptly and was non-stop to Ebbsfleet with arrival at St. Pancras right on time.

Passing through Kent, I saw a couple of oast houses and a chalk ridge upon which sheep were grazing.  Then we crossed the Medway River and I was in Kentish Men country - the part east of the Medway is inhabited by Men of Kent.

The Circle Line to Paddington was terrible.  Trains were running at 7 minute headways, the cars were very crowded, trains were noisy and bounced around.  We were held for 5 minutes at Edgware Road waiting for a path across to the Hammersmith Line.  They have changed the passenger exit at Paddington but it is still extremely crowded.

We left our bags at the hotel and went to the RAF museum near Hendon.  Again the Circle line was very slow - trains were running at around 8 minute intervals while the Northern line to Colindale was very, very noisy indeed.  Very unpleasant.

The museum was interesting.  The many exhibits were well restored and laid out in a logical manner.  It is not easy to display a large aircraft.  I liked the several Spitfires they had and also the Gloucester Meteors, both of which I remember from the time just after the end of the war.
Gloucester Meteor
Supermarine Spitfire
Again, the train intervals on the tube were very long.  Three small kids were sitting opposite us.  The mother broke open a bag of hot cross buns and gave one each to the kids.  I didn't now you could get hot cross buns at this time of the year.  The smell of bun and nutmeg permeated the car.   I was amused each time Customer Service would come on the loudspeaker and proclaim that they were operating a "Good Service"  - all the while we were waiting 7 minutes at Kings Cross and the platform was filling up fast.  Maybe the RATP should operate the Tube.

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