Ah, yes. Cascais beach. Suddenly, Portugal falls into place, and I fancy going exploring – but I can’t, because I’m off home tomorrow. I depart at 4.06pm from Lisbon’s Saint Appolinia station, again at 7.53am CET on Saturday from Hendaye, France, for a TGV to Paris, then the 3.07pm CET Eurostar from Gare Du Nord. Back at St Pancras just before the football results come in. Sweet. Twenty-four and a half hours, capital to capital.
But – hold on – best check the trains on the last leg of the journey. Thameslink’s out, isn’t it? No easy way back to London Bridge, then. So does my Eurostar stop at Ebbsfleet? It doesn’t, but I find that’d be no good anyway since “buses replace trains between Dartford and Gravesend”. Oh lovely. So I’ve got to lump my stuff on the Northern Line.
But surely I could then get the Jubilee and treat myself to a cab from… “suspended between Green Park and Stratford”. Ah. So I’ll have to lump my stuff upstairs to rotten old London Bridge mainline, to wait for a service that’ll no doubt be reduced without warning because those engineering works in north Kent. I can take 14 hours in a three-country sleeper train. I’ve shared cabins with strangers and tried to fathom out all kinds of unfamiliar systems in the past 10 days. But the last 10 miles of my ride home worries me more than the other 1,000.
I might just stay out here after all…
(The towel was a leaving gift from my former colleagues – can you see a theme emerging there? I thought I’d demonstrate it was beng put to good use…)