Tuesday, 2 August 2011

About public transport in the UK (20) [Despre transportul în comun în UK]

Although there surely are ‘rivals’ all over Europe – especially in Germany (in Frankfurt etc) – the unofficial title ‘catherdal of train stations’ is probably well deserved by London’s St. Pancras International.

My pics don’t even catch the beautiful Victorian architecture of the main frontage… only the inside of this magnificent building, which has been the British terminus of the Eurostar since 2007.

The former ‘home’ of the Eurostar was Waterloo Station, an equally beautiful building, however, bearing a name deemed ‘offensive’ to the French ego. Today, the French Border Police can legally operate within St Pancras Int’l :-)

In multicultural London – where the French community is sizeable, while there are posters in Polish in bus stations – it’s natural that St. Pancras Int’l is a bit bilingual (pics 6 + 8).

Well connected to the big London Underground (1) and to all London’s airports, St. Pancras Int’l won’t spare people of hearing/seeing constant ‘terrorist warnings’ (2).

Apparently, the huge open space (7) makes it rather difficult for terrorists to hide, and the security checks are somewhat similar to those carried out in airports.

It’s hard to say whether the post-July 2005 bombings panic was considered when switching from Waterloo Station. Nevertheless, St. Pancras Int’l is not too big.

It can barely fit some of the people queuing because of chronic the delays of that are plaguing the Eurostar all year round, irrespective whether a ‘Big Freeze’ is taking a heavy toll on airports or not.

Travellers can at least enjoy a breathable air in summer or take cover from the rain and snow under the spectacular trainshed which truly resembles the dome of a cathedral.

Instead of an altar or iconostasis, corporate people from all over Europe (rushing to do business in the City of London) can’t miss the big clock (9 + 10) reminding them the religious precept ‘time is money’.

[For all the episodes of this series, and all the posts on this blog go to/Pentru toate episoadele din această serie şi toate postările de pe acest blog mergi la: Contents/Cuprins]

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