05 April 2008

Generous Journal: Our green holiday

Everyone needs a holiday, even people who are trying to be generous. But holidays are tricky little things. Do you go abroad and use a plane, or do you go to somewhere in England but have to use the car because our public transport is so doggone awful? Well here's a solution, Eurostar!

The week before last hubby and I went to Brussels for two nights then spent a night in London afterwards. Altogether it cost about £400, and the only time we got in a car was getting a taxi home on Sunday evening because we'd missed our train and din't want to get back late (were it not for the fact that one of our cats is really ill at the moment and we wanted to get back to him, we'd have waited for the next train). We got the train from Guiseley to Leeds, then Leeds to London, then the very whizz-bang Eurostar to Brussels. It also goes to Lille and Paris if you fancy France more than Belgium. Once there we got Brussels Cards, which cost 20 euros and allow you free entry to about 30 museums for 24 hours and free public transport for 2 days. So we used the underground and trams to get around when we were there, as well as a heck of a lot of walking. How green is that?

We also tried to be generous when it came to eating. We saw at least three Pizza Huts when we were there, and as a veggie it was tempting to go to one because then I knew I could get a meal, and it was cheaper than other restaurants. But instead we supported local restaurants, and just used our collective knowledge of French to find meat-free food for me! (Actually, we only went to one restaurant where they didn't have English translations, another reason why Brussels is great!)

After Brussels we got the Eurostar back to London and used the tube and the busses to get round there. I actually preferred the busses, once we'd worked them out they were more convenient and usually less crowded than the Tube, and so much cheaper! Then the next day we got the train back to Leeds - which took almost twice as long as it did to get from Brussels to London!

If you're looking for an eco-friendly way to go on your hols, I really recommend Eurostar. It's fast, comfortable (apart from the ear-popping 20 minutes under the Channel!) and carbon-neutral. And if you're not from London it's an excuse to do some sight-seeing in between train journeys!

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