There was no way I was going to miss the eurostar this morning, so I gave myself nearly two hours to spare, even though it was only a 15 minute cycle to the station from the hostel.
I had a right mare with getting the bike through the X-ray machine and had to take my wheel off, then it wouldn’t go back on cos I was rushing. The woman on the machine was being a bitch and I snapped at her, which probably wasn’t wise- I was so stressed I just wanted to scream “just let me go home”.
anyway I got on the train in time and the 1.5 hour journey went really quickly, in no time I was on home ground at st Pancras!
Once I stepped out of the station, saw all the masses of people rushing around, the London cabbies and buses I felt a massive weight lifted and so happy to be home in London. It definitely helped that it was an unusually beautiful sunny day!
It took a little bit to get used to cycling on the left side of the road again and also how much drivers hate cyclists here, but his didn’t dampen my mood. I passed the British museum, Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square, Big Ben and Houses of parliament- god I love London. I’d only told My best friend Lauren and my sister Sam that I was coming back- I wanted to surprise Nik. He’s been home alone for 5 weeks so I was expecting I’d have some cleaning to do when I got home, before I could have my much awaited soak in the bath!
18th April- Strasbourg to Lille
After a hearty breakfast Hils and I set off for the train station so I could see her off, then set off to head in the direction of Reims- which I anticipated would take 4 days.
after saying goodbye I suddenly felt very alone and really sad, and then it started to rain. I circled the station for a while, thoughts swimming around and dreading the prospect of even 4 days of cycling alone, let alone at least a week to get to Lille, and I decided right there I want to go home and headed back to the hotel to use the wifi to find a way to get home.
I spent about 2 hours online figuring out he best way that wasn’t going to cost a fortune, all the while battling with the voices in my head. “You’ve failed if you go home now, it’s only a week and what will people think” then the other “get stuffed, I’m done. I’m missing Nik, I’m sick of being on my own and this is my journey nobody else’s.” The second voice won and I booked a train from to Lille and changed my Eurostar for the next day. I know I’d made the right decision because normally the stingy in me wouldn’t agree to paging an extra £150 onto anything, but I didn’t care I just wanted to go home.
The first hurdle was to try and get on the fast train that didn’t usually take bikes, so I was ready with my best ‘I’m a poor defenceless girl alone who really needs your help’ face. It worked- luckily the very nice train manager, who also had his bike not only let me on the train with my bike but also let me off paying extra for it and put me in my own little carriage. He was my knight in shining armour who let me breath a huge sigh of relief knowing I’d be home in my own bed with my man tomorrow.
Got to Lille around 4pm and hung around in the hostel for the evening, which had a real buzz to it and some nice people to talk to. I still had the first voice in my head, but the second was definitely overpowering it.