Wednesday, 7 January 2009

A Trip Under the Sea bed

Before I take you under the sea bed, let me show you how different our garden pond looks at the moment. Solid ice. We have had below freezing temperatures since the New Year. Snow then a slight thaw, then a freeze over and then snow on ice which makes for very slippery pavements. I managed my first walk in 4 days today. It was easier to walk in the park as snow and ice on grass is not slippery but crunchy. Snow is brilliant to walk on but ice not so.


The waterfall is freezing as the water runs down

However the Bergenia is a nice contrast
I was wondering where to take you at the beginning of this new year. No, I am not going travelling but digging into the archives. I thought a sojourn into the middle of rural France might be nice.
It will take a few posts but before commencing with that I will show you how we choose to cross the channel. We use the drive on shuttle. Foot passengers have to use Eurostar but this is a quick way if taking the car.


These particular photos are none too clear as they were taken in 1996 when the tunnel first opened and before I had a digital camera, but I did not take any on subsequent trips so these are the best I have.


We have had coffee in the terminal building, checked in before passing through customs and security etc., and here we are waiting in the queue for the next train. Much, much busier these days.

We drive down the ramp and onto the train. These trains are so long that they have different entry points. As you can see, the train goes straight into the tunnel and the beauty of having all the customs, security and imigration taken care of before the flight, we drive straight off the train and onto the motorway on arrival.


This is our first journey on Le Shuttle and as there were no buses boarding we were able to drive into the spacious carriages used by buses. The train in general has an upper and lower deck and are half the height of what you see here.




You can stay in the car or get out, but as there is nowhere to go most people just stay in their car. The journey takes 40 minutes, 25 of those under the sea bed.


Alan points out that this is on the return journey because he is wearing a different shirt. The people in the car behind were Americans and as we had recently returned from time in the States we had much to talk about. The shutters you see behind this car come down between every six cars throughout the whole of the train, they are fire doors. One can walk through the double swing fire doors to use the toilets.


The only other way to take the car to France is on a ferry and some are seen here in the Port of Calais.
Stay tuned for the trip which took place in 2002.



20 comments:

Winifred said...

I love reading about other people's travels. I remember getting the Shuttle a few years ago when we went on a bus trip to Paris. My husband hates driving abroad. Also it takes ages to drive down to the terminal.

Look forward to seeing the rest of your trip.

Linds said...

Barbara, for some reason I can't see any of the photos. I will try again later. Sigh.

Vicente B said...

Thank you very much for your comments in to my Ibiza,s blog. The gold head squares, normally are used on "fiestas days", the normal days are not so "colourfull". I have from one week ago, the same blog in an english version. www.ibizaenglish.blogspot.com, or you can find the link in the blog down the labels list. I don´t know if my english will be enough understandable. I hope so...

bennie and patsy said...

That is very interesting. Thanks for the tour.

Willow said...

Very interesting Barbara! I would love to go to France, but I think I'd prefer the ferry. I'm not much for sea bed travel.

Mmm said...

I have a friend who's best friend is a a "stewardess" on the chunnel train --she loves it. i wonder why? ! ...:)

debbie bailey said...

Oh boy! I'm looking forward to seeing rural France. I'm amazed that they were able to make a tunnel under the English Channel. It's incredible and a bit scary. I always think about what bad things could happen down there. I think I'd prefer the ferry. I've been on it twice and the ride was smooth as glass.

Tea Time With Melody said...

I just know when I come to your posts that I am going to be excited because I am going to get to go somewhere! Are we there yet???!!!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I've often wondered if I'd get a bit woozy taking the shuttle under the sea. I guess it's best not to think about it too hard.

Be careful in your frozen garden. I always seem to fall flat at least once when mine is frozen!!

Linda said...

Looks like a ferry trip, only narrower.

Linds said...

I can see them at last! I confess that I have yet to go through the Chunnel. Maybe this is the year!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

So interesting...I have trouble crossing a bridge...wonder what would happen having to be in a tunnel for that long. :D

Elizabethd said...

Even though we live in France I ahve never been on the shuttle. We always use the ferry which is much nearer. It looks a most interesting journey.

Elizabeth said...

I've only done this trip on the train but very exciting even so!

Knitting Mania said...

What an interesting trip...thanks for sharing....I love seeing your part of the world through your eyes Barbara.

:)

Susan Skitt said...

Barbara, as always so nice to visit here with you. It's been icy here in Pa, USA too. But today, we're supposed to get our first big snowfall of the year, at least they're saying 3-6 inches. My seven-year-old said, "Mom, will there be enough to make a snowman?"

Oh, and may my son and I interview you through email? He has a 1st grade project about England and I thought it might be fun to get some insight from someone who actually lives there!

My new email is susanskitt@verizon.net - just drop me a quick line. I've got a new computer and don't have all my email addresses organized yet, so I'll need yours if you're willing to help on this little project. It won't take too long :)

Also, feel free to stop by my blog and invite friends if you'd like. I'm having a give-away contest that ends on Wed., Jan. 14th!

Betty said...

Barbara, you continue to have my attention and admiration with your gift....

Please come by for an award...Betty

Merisi said...

Your pond looks just like the one in the common gardens I look into from my apartment! I worry about the fish in my neighbour's pond, they would have to be moving quite a bit to survive and I have no idea how they are doing.

Such exciting travels! I would not know which would be the lesser evil for me: Riding under the sea or flying high up in the air. I have taken so many flights in my life and still afraid each and every time, thanking God when I touch firm grounds again.

With best wishes for a very good year, Barbara! :-9

Melanie said...

That was interesting. I remember the time and people were a bit nervous initially, but now it's more common place. Isn't it amazing how quickly one can get used to an idea and then you have to think about how things used to be done.

I had this with a non mobile phone call (usually poke child to call home for a lift from the shops). I eventually found a telephone booth last year. The price was also over double what I was expecting nd I had to read the instructions carefully to place the call. :-)

I swear it isn't age ...maybe.

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