Day 1 - Tue 24-Jan-2006
Got a taxi to the station and caught the 10:36 to London, then it was another taxi ride over to Waterloo with a third generation taxi driver who told me his entire life history. Through security in seconds and the French passport control bloke just scanned (with his eyes!) my passport before waving me through.
Eurostar left on time and arrived on time - then it was down to the ticket office in Brussels Midi to purchase my onward ticket. (The guard on the Eurostar tells me that you can buy an "any station in The Netherlands ticket", but I assume you have to phone for that, as it's not on the web site.)
I got the semi-fast train from Brussels up to Rotterdam. It was mobbed at the start, but two stops later (no more than five miles from Brussels Midi) everyone got off. Then I attracted the attention of three drunk French guys (I must have a drunk magnet, because they always descend on me), but with my lack of French and their limited English the "meeting of minds" didn't last that long. They got off at the next stop, and the rest of the journey was incident free, if a little boring. I checked in at the hotel just after 19:30.