This is a write up of our family ski trip to Devoluy, France in January '09.  It was a trip of many 'firsts' for us - our first skiing trip to France; our first long distance holiday without flying; the first time that we had planned a skiing trip as an independant!

The whole journey was researched extensively on the internet and most of it was booked on the internet as well.  Only the train journeys were booked over the telephone.  If you are prepared to spend the time, then there are significant savings to be made travelling as an independant - just remember to make sure that your travel insurance covers you for independant travel.  This is usually an optional extra but doesn't cost much more and gives you peace of mind!

The Departure

Station Clock, St Pancras, LondonClock in St Pancras Station, London
We started out journey on Friday 16th January and travelled by train from Doncaster to London Kings Cross.  Currently, the train company that we used is called East Coast (since Nov 2009).  

From London Kings Cross, we crossed the street to London St Pancras International Station, where we were to catch the Eurostar to Paris Gare du Nord.

Eurostar Departure Lounge, St Pancras, LondonThe lounge at London St Pancras Station
We had a couple of hours to spend at London St Pancras and decided to get something to eat before boarding the train.  We could find no suitable placed to sit and eat our KFC (from opposite the station) [note: as of 2012 this no longer exists]

Eurostar TrainOur Eurostar train
Our train was due to depart at 1620 and we were able to start boarding half an hour beforehand.  This mean't there was no rushing, with plenty of time to find your seat and get settled, take a couple of photographs and generally enjoy the experience.

Once thing to consider if you are travelling as a group or a family though - there were only two tables in the whole of our standard coach.  All of the other seats were of the 'airline' style (with a fold up table). 

Have you ever considered upgrading to first class?  If booked in advance, some of the prices and be quite competitive.  In the first class coach, all the seats are table seats and a meal is included.  There is also alot more legroom, and generally, it is a much quieter coach and therefore a much more pleasurable experience!  Something to think about?

Platforms at St PancrasPlatforms at St Pancras
The platforms at London St Pancras International station are above the concourse and you have the impression that you are the only people around.  It is quiet and totally different from other mainline station that we have been to before.  It was quite surprising!  All the hussle and bustle of the station, the shops, ticket office and Eurostar check-in are all downstairs.

If you visited St Pancras before it's refurbishment, you would not recognise it now.  It is light, airy and clean.

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