It was quite some trip to France, considering my rather minimal French knowledge. I survived even with the communication barrier. I also found it quite a tiresome journey too, especially with getting very little sleep on the coach overnight from Edinburgh to London. I sorted it out for the return by taking a fleece on as hand luggage to lean on.
The best part of the trip was venturing out of the country on my own, and meeting many people that I have only communicated with eletronically before hand. It quite a surprise to me, to come across someone who also lived in my home city of Edinburgh.
For those that are interested, even so I now have a passport, I have never flown in a plane before. For this trip it was cheaper and more flexible to take the overnight coach with National Express from Edinburgh to London, then walk across London to the Eurostar terminal. I then travelled by train all the way to Lyon, with a change in Paris (and a run on the underground). I can now even say I have travelled on a double decker train (they seem to be unique to France, please correct me if I’m wrong).
I then stayed in Lyon for 3 day in the Hotel du Helder. It seemed quite nice, especially when the staff were able to speak English. After the OpenOffice.org conference, I traveled with Eric Bachard to his house to stay the night, and then set off in the morning to Paris for the Apple Expo which was quite impressive. Mind you the random shutdowns of my MacBook didn’t help.
On the Friday afternoon, I returned to pick up my stuff from the hotel, and get off to Paris Nord to catch the Eurostar home. Arrived about 35 minutes before departure to a long queue, and still got on the train and it left on time too. I doubt you would be able to manage that one if I was travelling by plane. I then had another wander through London to the Victoria Coach Station for the over night coach back into Edinburgh.
OK, door-to-door it does take longer, but I sure it used less fuel that an aeroplane taking off.