Wow!!! I’m under way!!! To be honest there actually isn’t that much “I’ve finally done it!” feelings inside me as I thought there would be. That’s not to say it doesn’t feel GREAT to be on the road finally, I just guess I thought that I’d be more emotional about it than I am.
Oh yeah, you wanna know what actually happened today? Well…I’m going to try and make these things as interesting as I can, I mean cut the crap and just leave you with the good stuff (if there is any!) so here goes my attempt at day 1….
My journey started as I was sure it would continue, on a train. In fact 2 trains really. In order to get to London Waterloo, yep, train and then the Eurostar into France! It was al all pretty hitchless amazingly. I mean, I had dreaded getting to Waterloo only to find that the ticket I had booked a few days earlier into Lille had mysteriously vanished from their computer system, or that my passport would somehow be eaten or any number of things! Thankfully, I arrived in Lille a pretty happy man!
Exiting Lille Europe train station felt somewhat strange. I mean, I’d just arrived at my first port of call on my European adventure and just, well, walked out into the Lille sunshine. No passport required, no one offering me a cab, just, well, nothing. So map in hand I headed up towards the other train station (Lille Flanders) where navigating my way should be fairly simple. Wrong!
Not simple! Not when your map seems to omit most of the streets to which I found myself surrounded. After asking a cabbie who directed me (rather badly as it turned out) and then spending the next 20 minutes just wondering, hoping to come across a street name that my map DID have, I succumbed to asking the locals. I didn’t have to wait long before a very kind Frenchman whose English was seemingly worse than my French (No, really!), basically took me to the hostel! You can get a pretty good impression of the French if you come across guys like that!
So this is my first experience of hostels and I have to say, it’s not too bad. Not exactly filled with life and most of the people here are, it seems, waiting to get accommodation for studying at the University here. That certainly seems to include 3 of my 4 roommates (the other I’ve yet to meet, if indeed there is another). The Canadian guy that was there when I got in and I decided to go into town for a beer and grub. Wound up later in the hostel bar with the 3 guys (a German and a Frenchman along wit the 2 of us) for a couple of beers – It seems they don’t like to drink too much as it really was only a couple of beers! An early night was had by all, at least I’d be ready to get out tomorrow!