Most of my May trip to Europe was spent visiting my step-mother -- who is English and she lives in England, near Stratford-on-Avon. It was often raining, so this time I didn't take that many photos there. But I did travel by train to France, over and back. And, both in London and in Paris, I needed to take the "underground" or the metro in order to change stations in each city. In Europe, big cities have more than one main station. Luckily I love trains and thank goodness I can speak French! Even so, it was quite a job to figure out times and platforms and how to be headed in the right direction once I found that platform.
I happen to love taking photos in a train AND from a moving train. Ever since childhood, I have been fascinated by what is passing by so quickly. Back "in the olden days," my sisters and I traveled by train between parents a couple of times a month. We lived in Connecticut, and my father was in New York City. These days I hardly ever get to ride a train! I took advantage of my May trip within a trip to travel on a bunch of trains.
So, from England to France, it's first a train, 1) Moreton-in-Marsh to London/ Paddington station. Next comes (goes) the underground (subway) to 2) London/St. Pancras station in order to catch the 3) Eurostar train, the one that zips UNDER the English Channel to Paris/Gare du Nord. Very speedy, not good for photos. The metro (subway) in Paris to the 4) Montparnasse station was also not good for photos. Finally and barely I caught the 5) fast train (TGV), to Rennes, in western France, arriving exactly on schedule at 8:30 pm their time. (France is an hour earlier than England, go figure.) This was my first day and by far, so to speak, the most challenging. I am so grateful the French were very helpful each of the many times I asked someone a question. Merci de tout coeur!
After all this verbiage, here are some photos. First, the train to London:
|looking south, from my seat|
|looking north, across the aisle, afields of rape seeds, for making oil|
|notice the tops of heads mirrored in the baggage rack above|
|My seatmate spent the ENTIRE two hours of the trip going from one device to the others. I doubt if he noticed I was taking his picture. He never looked out the window, said a word or smiled. I was busy looking incredulous!|
|ticket kiosks at Paddington -- Travelers are supposed to punch their tickets before getting on the train and sometimes when they get off.|
|mid morning on a Monday must not be a busy time at Paddington Station|
|on the way to catch the underground to my next train station|
|the platform for the trip between train stations -- obviously not underground here, but still part of the "Tube" system.|
More next week, since I have run out of steam today for more photos.... I still want to share a statue with those of you who read children's books and who have met Paddington bear over the years: this statue of him is in Paddington Station. It was providing a seat to a Japanese tourist at the time I was there, and I didn't ask him to move, even though I would have then had a better photo. Anyway, this sweet bear sends greetings to all of us around the world, I am sure.