Day 17–July 3–Train from Glasgow to London and London to Brussels
Our last day in the UK was a train trip from Glasgow Central to London Euston station, a walk to London St. Pancras station, and the Eurostar train to Brussels. Flying would have been cheaper, but we both wanted to see more countryside and I wanted to take the train under the channel. We were happy with our choice. We got up early to get to Glasgow Central in time for the 8:05 Virgin Trains express service to London; we arrive early and had time for coffee and people watching of morning commuters while waiting.
The high speed train to London uses an old right-of-way that has been upgraded for high-speed trains; since the radius of the curves was designed for much slower trains, the new trains lean in to the corners like you do on a bicycle or motorcycle. We did not know to expect this and were a little surprised the first time. There were a couple of points with S-curves that were really pretty cool.
The Virgin Trains staff clearly have seen it all and still have a sense of humor, as shown by the label on top of the toilets:
The walk from London Euston to St. Pancras was easy with wheeled luggage, but if it is raining or you have kids in tow, get a taxi. St. Pancras is not in Scotland and thus does not have natural air conditioning. It does not have artificial air conditioning, and was quite warm.
The Eurostar was fun if a bit of a let down. I thought going through the tunnel would be a big deal, but it is like a twenty-minute flight at night with no turbulence. Once in Brussels, we took a taxi from the station to our hotel and the official end of the genealogy portion of the trip; and the beginning of the statistics conference portion.