So, for the first time in a very long time, TimOnTheTrain is off on an international adventure. An early start at St. Pancras meant that we had it almost to ourselves, and it never looked lovelier!
In recognition of this return to the status quo, Great Rail Journeys had organised a glass of champagne in Searcy's cocktail bar (tea/coffee & pastries for those preferring a quieter start to the day.)
Just before checking in for Eurostar I met a man with what must be one of the most unique jibs at the station. He is a Falconer, and his Harris Hawk was performing its morning job of scaring off the pigeons that plague the station.
Check-In and Immigration were pretty much as they always were pre-COVID. Our vaccination certificates were checked quickly at the French immigration desk at St. Pancras and then we were through and became French. A normal journey to Paris followed and then we walked the 10 minutes from Gare du Nord to Gare de L'Est which was looking as pretty as you like in the morning sunshine.
Our TGV rocketed through the lovely French countryside and we arrived in Strasbourg in just under 2 hours.
We checked into our cabins on our Barge 'Madeleine' and then my clients travelled on an open-top barge cruise around the waterways of the city while I sat down with our chief purser Armelle for a briefing over a Citron Pressé.
The day finished with dinner on board. I'm not usually one for taking pictures of food, but this was so pretty - and there may be more to come! Everybody was pretty tired after a glass of wine with dinner, so off to bed for a well-earned rest.