Well that was really close. IÂm sitting in the corridor between two cars on the high speed train from London to Waterloo. Right now the view out the window is pitch black. WeÂre in the Channel Tunnel that connects England and France.
I almost missed the train. In fact, if IÂd been about 15 seconds later, they wouldnÂt have let me on. Everyone was already boarded, and it was just me and a family of three rushing through security to make it to the platform on time. I had to get on the back of the train and carry my luggage through the narrow aisles and corridors all the way to my car, which was at the front of the train. The trainÂs service manager told me itÂs a quarter-mile trek. Oh well. I could use the exercise. After making it all the way to the other end of the train, I found that thereÂs someone sleeping in my seat. Great. Anyway, I was too tired to put up a fuss, so I found some little jumper seats between cars to sit in.
I was late for several reasons. First of all, my flight from Toronto got moved to a different gate, and was delayed by 40 minutes. When we landed in Stansted, I was one of the first off the plane, but the escalators leading to the arrivals area was broken, so we had to squeeze onto a bus, which drove us around the terminal to where we needed to be. Immigration and luggage pickup was easy, thanks to my Zoom seating upgrade that included priority luggage handling. However, there was a problem with the train from Stansted to central London. That would have been a 47 minute trip, but since the train was not running, I had to take the bus instead, which took about 90 minutes. Then, the queue for tube tickets was outrageous. Plus, I didnÂt know how to get to Waterloo Station. Thanks to the kindness of strangers, and a hell of a lot of running with my suitcase and camera bag in tow, I made it, and here I am.
The flight from Toronto was painless though. I really do recommend upgrading from standard economy to premium economy on Zoom Airways. The service is great, and the cost is minimal. I had almost too much legroom. I usually like to put my feet on the legs for the chair in front of me, but they were almost too far away to reach.
I have never flown out of Toronto on such a clear and beautiful night. The lake glowed like satin under the light of the full moon, and the curve of land around it was contrasting velvet with sparkling orange and white jewels lining busy roads and quiet neighbourhoods.
I’ve checked into Hotel Boissiere. It’s what can only be described as snug. The door is tricky to open too… The front desk dude had to demonstrate how to push the bottom of the door firmly with one foot, while simultaneously pulling the door knob and turning the key to get in. It took him about 30 minutes to figure it out. Anyway, it’s a bit far from everything, but I’m happy with these accommodations so far. 🙂