Monday, 3 September, 2018
On Monday. we were up at 4am after a full day or two of careful packing. Krish had wanted to pack a crate of food to send along. However, after reading the shipping rules, it turned out that most of the things weren’t allowed into Italy. Back to the drawing board.
I suggested that we compromise with both the food and the clothing, etc and take what we could’t do without. For me, that would probably mean abandoning all the food but, at any rate, with some of that famous Krish tetris skills, most of it made its way into the cases I abandoned a few things, he abandoned a few things, and it all made its way across the UK, France and into Italy. Later we realised we hadn’t packed the pan we’d wanted but, all in all, pretty much a successful venture.
We left by taxi to St Pancras at 6am. Best to skip through the details of the entire trip but here are the highlights:
An enormous queue at St Pancras. We honestly thought we’d miss our train but made it on with minutes to spare. There were nervous faces all around us the whole time
A pleasure to know our way into the Paris Metro and which train to catch after last year’s charade, but the usual crowded and shabby RER train
Gare de Lyon is spacious and bright compared to Gare du Nord so we sat and rested for the couple of hours before boarding
The Milan train starts after you’ve walked the very long Chamberry train length. We were in the very first carriage of the Milan train so that’s a lot of walking. Phew!I knew our upgrade to first class wouldn’t amount to much and I was right. A bit more comfortable, a bit more room but still crowded, smelly (oh, that toilet!!!) and no room for bags, which were stacked several high in every spare piece of space.
We waited and waited and left fifty minutes late.
It seems the earlier train was cancelled (there’s a French rail strike) and so the people from that train were squished into ours This may not seem like a big deal but it did mean that for some reason those from the earlier train came to sit in the same seats they had booked for that time. This explained the fracas when people were non-plussed at discovering other people in their seat. I have no idea what sort of idiot thinking that is but there you are. Although warned that they should vacate and go into the Chamberry train, most elected to stay put and some were then annoyed when along the route others came in and demanding their proper seat. There are almost no words…or no polite ones
Then was the battle of the power outlets. My adapter didn’t fit into them. They were the French Euro oulets. Now, why a train that travels between France and Italy, with announcements in both languages would equip a train with French-only outlets is puzzling. It made for a long six hour journey
But make it we did. About forty minutes late but there was Cristina and we were off to what Krish was already calling ‘home.’