After 35 hours of travel, we arrived here in Arras at 3.30 pm, yesterday.This town has a lot of charm and our hotel (Le Moderne) is just across the road from the station. Arras is in the centre of the areaa of the Western Front on WW1 and is a good place from which to visit many sights of interest to Australians.
It is now 5.30 am and I can’t sleep anymore, but Jill is still snoring – a condition that she constantly complains about as a fault of mine.
We had a vey pleasant flight, having been upgraded to First Class! The fight was delayed for almost an hour and a half, but we were able to while away the time in the lounge very comfortably. A stop in Singapore gave us a chance to walk around for a while and then it was back on the plane for the 13 hour stretch to London. By then we had made up all but 10 mimutes of our delay.
The service at the pointy end of the plane is very personal and the food and wines are excellent, however it comes at a quite high price if one were paying for it oneself. One rather pleasing benefit is that they issue each person with a ‘sleeper suit’ (or PJ’s for us common folk). These enable you to be comfortable as well as saving your travellng clothes from getting crushed. It is a bit amusing to watch everyone retreat to the toilet inturn to get changed and then come back to their seats wearing some sort of a ‘unform’ that might befit members of some oddball club or association.
At Heathrow, we had to change form Termnal 4 to Termnal 5. This was relatvely painless except for the longish queue at the security checkpoint. It was n this queue that I realised that I had left my wallet in the seat pocket on the Qantas plane. After a flurry of phone calls (ncluding one that was diverted back to Australia), I was able to find a number to call, and an exceptionally helpful in Qantas ground operations named Suzanne Squire found a way to retrieve it from the plane and delivered it to me at the departure gate just as our next flight to Paris was boarding. I now have to write to Qantas, commending her on her help.
Our flight to Paris was only a short one of 40 mnutes, but somehow on this short time, British Arways managed to serve a hot breakfast withh tea and coffee. This flight is about the same length and distance as the one from Melbourne to Canberra, and Qantas doesn’t serve a meal ike that on the flight to Sydney!
We must have taxied for about 20 minutes on arrivng at Charles de.Gaule airport in Paris. I thought that the pilot might have been intending to drive us all the way into downtown and along the Champs Elysee! After a reasonably long wait, our bags appeared on the belt, putting aside all my scepticism of them not being transferred in London after all the problems with Baggage after Termnal 5’s recent opening. Oh ye of little faith!
After a walk of almost a kilometre along the length of the arport terminal,we found the train station and a café in which we could practice our French and order a baguette and a drink. The final leg of our journey was to Arras. My GPS was telling me that the train was travelling at aspeed of 295 kmh.
We found our hotel easily, changed the reservation for our rental car until today and then went for a walk through town, By 6.30, we were pretty tired, so after a quick meal in a nearby restaurant, we fell into bed.
It’s now 7.00am and Jill is still asleep, snoring, so I’ll upload this and have a shower. It looks to be nice sunny day for exploring.