London

Leaving Paris to Back to London…

So an unexpected thing happen on our Journey back to London. We decided to take the Mega Bus instead of flying like we have been the entire trip. It’s very ideal to take trains around Europe because the journey can be quiet beautiful but trains are very expensive. So, we decided to take the cheaper scenic route. As we prepare to cross the France/UK border a few of the workers decided to go on Strike (will post a separate blog in reference to that lol) so this has already delayed our trip by 5 hrs BUT we had fun we met this hysterical woman from Ireland lol and a guy from Barcelona who sounds English who also took on the role of being our tour guide providing us information as it changed. He even got us a free drink from the food plaza ( they started giving away free beverages because of the strike and they knew we would be there a while)

It became very interesting when we were finally in the clear and the tunnel was open for us to drive through HOWEVER they didn’t say we were driving in a TRAIN while still in the BUS lol we had to sit in the bus with no A/C (because it’s a fire hazard) in the TRAIN for about 30-35mins also known as the English Channel. I’ve heard of it but never really looked into it so here is some quick google content I gathered below.

The English Channel also referred to simply as the Channel, is the body of water that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the southern part of the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean (See 1st Pic Above).

“Euro Tunnel Le Shuttle is a shuttle service between Calais/Coquelles in France and Folkestone in Britain. It conveys road vehicles by rail through the Channel Tunnel. Passenger and freight vehicles are carried in separate shuttle trains.”

According to Oliver Smith… Here are 20 fascinating facts about the Channel Tunnel…

1. The Channel Tunnel is 31.4 miles long, making it the 11th longest tunnel in use and the fifth longest used by rail passengers. It has the longest undersea portion of any tunnel in the world.

2. The project cost £4.65 billion (equivalent to £12 billion today), 80 per cent more than expected. Construction took six years (1988-1994).

3. It was recognised as one of the “Seven Wonders of the Modern World” by the American Society of Civil Engineers, alongside the Empire State Building, the Itaipu Dam in South America, the CN Tower in Toronto, the Panama Canal, the North Sea protection works in the Netherlands, and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

4. The first proposal for a tunnel under the Channel was put forward by Albert Mathieu, a French engineer - it included an artificial island half-way across for changing horses. Further proposals were considered by Napoleon III in 1856 and William Gladstone in 1865, while David Lloyd George brought up the idea at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919.

5. At the height of construction, 13,000 people were employed. Ten workers - eight of them British - were killed building the tunnel.

6. Englishman Graham Fagg and Frenchman Phillippe Cozette carried out the ceremonial break through on December 1, 1990.

7. They didn’t quite meet in the middle - the English side tunnelled the greater distance.

8. The average depth of the tunnel is 50 metres below the seabed, and the lowest point 75 metres below. Much of the chalk marl spoil bored on the English side was deposited at Lower Shakespeare Cliff in Kent, now home to the Samphire Hoe Country Park.

9. There are actually three tunnels down there - two for trains and a smaller service tunnel that can be used in emergencies.

10. 11 boring machines were used to dig the tunnel. Together they weighed a total of 12,000 tonnes (more than the Eiffel Tower), while each was as long as two football pitches. One from the British side remains buried under the Channel. Another was sold on eBay for £39,999 in 2004.

Skipped a few…

18. It takes around 35 minutes to travel the length of the Channel Tunnel.

20. The Queen and President Mitterrand officially opened the tunnel on May 6, 1994. The royal party travelled from Waterloo to Calais at a sedate 80mph. The presidential party sped to the coast from Paris at 186mph.

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- The Parkers

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