I was halfway between London and Paris, sipping champagne and chatting across a table with two fascinating gentlemen, when suddenly it occurred to me: I felt like an explorer setting out on an adventure.
I lift my espresso cup in a silent toast: Vive l'Eurostar!
IF YOU GO . . .
What it costs: First- and standard-class rates are available. The difference between the two is that a first-class ticket includes a meal and a wider seat. For those traveling standard-class, two buffet cars and a trolley service at Special fares are offered to BritRail Pass holders. Also ask about the Apex weekend fare.
For round-trip fares, double the one-way price.
Points and times of departure: In London, there are 10 departures a day, the first at 6:57 a.m., the last at 8:13 p.m. The last train will deposit you in Paris at a little after midnight, Paris time.
In Paris, the train departs from Gare du Nord, a centrally located station on the Right Bank. Departure times are similar to those of the London train. There is a required check-in time of 20 minutes.
How to book the Eurostar: Travelers may want to book well in advance during the peak summer season because reservations and seat assignments are compulsory. Book through your travel agent or through BritRail International at (800) 677-8585 or (212) 575- 2667.