Posted by: travelrat | September 22, 2010

St. Pancras

London: 12th July 2010

I’ve always wondered why they chose to put the ‘new’ Eurostar rail terminal at St. Pancras. I mean, it’s in the north of London. It does mean, however, that passengers arriving from Scotland and the North no longer have to schlepp their luggage across London on the Tube to Waterloo; it’s not too far from Euston or King’s Cross.

Now, it’s me who has to haul my stuff across the city, instead of just taking a stroll along the concourse at Waterloo, where trains from the south-west terminate, and where the international terminal used to be. I wonder how they use the Phillipe Starck designed first-class Eurostar lounge at Waterloo, of which they were so proud, nowadays?

I have heard it suggested that one of the reasons for the change was that the French took exception to arriving at a station named after a battle they lost.

St. Pancras had a massive makeover, though. As we ate breakfast while waiting for our train, it was hard to believe we were in a railway station. The main ingredient … stressed, sweaty, bad-tempered crowds in a hurry to get somewhere …was almost totally absent.

We didn’t even have to queue for our tickets. I just went straight up to the counter, quoted the reference number I’d been given, and a smiling clerk delivered them instantly.

Just one minor thing, though. The train was going to Belgium. So, why was there a picture of General de Gaulle on it?

22nd September 2010.

We were taking the train to Maastricht, to see an André Rieu concert. We enjoyed it so much that, today, we were going to see another of his concerts, at the O2 Arena in London Unfortunately, this has had to be postponed, due to his recent illness.

So, we’re sending good vibes towards Maastricht, with best wishes for a speedy recovery, and looking forward to the London concert when a revised date is announced.

Get well soon, André !!

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Responses

  1. Hi Keith,
    The Railway Station looks really nice, better than some of the really old ones we have here in Australia.
    Wow, are lucky for you to see Andre Rieu, sorry you had to miss his other Concert. Maybe this will make up for it.

    • If you want a preview picture of the Maastricht concert, it’s at http://www.flickr.com/photos/31258795@N00/4804305328 In the meantime, we’ll have to play the DVD ‘My African Dream’ (which we consider the best he ever made) again.

      And, see which happens first; the release of the latest Maastricht DVD or the rescheduled concert.

  2. Hi Keith,
    Beautiful venue for a concert, even the trees in the back look really good. I gather that’s not ancient Roman, it looks to be built new?

    I notices a photo in your collection called ” St. Pietersberg Caves 1″ I was very intrigued, would love to know the background of the photo.

    • I’m not sure that proscenium is even a permanent feature, but he does use it for his Maastricht concert every year.

      I’ll be posting about the Sint Pietersberg caves in the next few weeks; basically, they’re abandoned mines near Maastricht, which were used as a shelter in wartime. The cave drawings were originally done by miners, so they could easily find their way around the underground labyrinth.

  3. Hi Keith,
    Oh, so he uses it as a prop, I thought it looked sort of new. It certainly is very nice, and very well made.

    Looking forward to your post on the caves, the photo was intriguing.

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