Blog: Dave LeggettANE - Paris

Dave Leggett | 12 June 2003

I've just been sorting out my travel to Paris for the Automotive News Europe Congress (June 22-24). I toyed with the idea of taking a car over. That option carries the advantage that on the return leg I could always stop off at a hypermarket in Pas de Calais and fill the car to capacity with cheap - sorry, I meant to say quality - wine, runny cheese etc. But driving also involves a long and slightly tedious Autoroute drive south that ends with a nerve jangling search for the hotel in central Paris. All things considered I'll leave that option alone (I'm very good at getting lost in strange cities and Parisian drivers are a little unforgiving I think).

I could fly, but flights seem a bit risky in terms of reliability. This is Europe in the summer after all - prime striking season! I hear in the news that most of France is embroiled in some sort of dispute over pensions and government plans to reform things. Big demos in Paris, country brought to a halt - usual sort of thing. When the French are stirred to take action, they tend to mean business. Sounds like the government will find it difficult to back down too.

So, it'll be the Eurostar train from London Waterloo to Paris, Gare du Nord - they seem to be running near normally on strike days. Actually, these super-fast trains in Europe (TGV in France, ICE in Germany) are a very civilised and agreeable way of getting from city centre to city centre on inter-urban journeys that are a bit long for four wheels but so short-haul that the hassles associated with flying make that a less attractive option. Even the Spanish are getting in on the high speed rail act (Madrid-Seville will shortly be supplemented by Madrid-Barcelona). Pity about poor old Britain's dilapidated rail network, but don't get me started on that one...

Eurostar have a nice website for online booking - see link below. By the way, that second passport I need to be able to get to Paris in the first place (see Blog rant of a few weeks ago re pending Iran trip) arrived in the post today. Turned out I was given a load of duff advice - not just once but several times - about what I would actually need to present at Passport Office in order to get it, but I guess I should just be grateful.


Colossal China powers on

I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....


China Hot Pot

Given the startling complexity of obtaining a journalist visa for China - the code 'J2' is now indelibly stamped on my mind - it was with some surprise how swiftly I managed to sail through airport im...

Forgot your password?