The 08.31 Eurostar from London to Paris didn’t leave on time this morning. Not even nearly. A fire on the track in Lille has meant an hour long delay plus 90 minutes extra journey time to account for having to switch from the high speed line to classic railway. How quaint and time consuming.
As the first train to leave London on the Monday morning of Mipim week at a suitably godly hour, its no surprise that many of the passengers on board are suited, booted, Cannes-bound and a little bit grumpy.
The delays are likely to have a knock on effect throughout the day as trains back up in London. But fear not post-10am travellers. Here are a few Mipim delay survival tips both for those following us from St Pancras and those on completely different modes of transport. Who remembers last year’s Easyjet flight that wasn’t? “This plane is broken. We are trying to find another one. That works.” Best quote of the conference before we had even left the tarmac.
Anyway … whether you are en route to Mipim on a plane, train or automobile here are some tips:
1. Give into boredom hunger
You have had breakfast. And two coffees. It’s nowhere near lunchtime. But somehow the delay stretching ahead of you sees hunger creep in. After all we don’t know when we will eventually get off this train. It could be Wednesday. Best stock up before the fromage et jambon baguettes run out. And even a monster size Grab Bag of Hula Hoops won’t last 72 hours. It doesn’t matter if you are not hungry. Give into the urge. Eat, drink and part with your 10 quid for a cup of coffee and a cookie.
2. Embrace your inner hippy
There is no time for “I am going to miss a very important connection” here. You and everyone else. There is no refund to negotiate, no complimentary voucher to demand, no free coffee to be provided. You are best off sitting back, relaxing and going against every British urge in your body. Make like the continentals and enjoy a gallic shrug or two. Maybe you could even do something really 1960s and talk to a complete stranger. At best you may make a new friend for life. Or at least secure a cab share ahead of the inevitable cross-Paris dash ahead of the Cannes connection.
3) Divert to the airport. We hear there are still a few seats left. We are stuck in the pouring rain at Calais, the buffet car has completely sold out and all the sleepy toddlers are starting to wake up. Seriously. Go to the airport.
This blog was co-written with Building’s assistant editor Joey Gardiner. Joey and Emily will be reporting from Cannes during Mipim week.