09/04/2012 08:01 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

A Bullet Under The English Channel (VIDEO)

I still get excited about the Eurostar train trip from Paris through the English Channel Tunnel (a.k.a. "Chunnel") to London. But the routine at the station has become, well, routine: Show your ticket and passport. Wait in a lounge until it's time to board. Cross over the tracks on a secure sky bridge to a secure platform where your bullet train awaits, and follow the crowds as security officials make sure everyone gets on the right car.

Within minutes, you're zipping at 180 mph across the French countryside. Now that the new tracks are complete on the English side, you go just as fast there and -- within about 2.5 hours -- you're in London.

When the tracks parallel the highway, we pass cars like they're standing still (the train is going 100 mph faster than the speeding cars). When the attendant offers wine, it isn't the cheap stuff they serve on American airlines -- it's a fine French Médoc.

And then, suddenly, there's darkness for 20 minutes. Whenever I ride my bullet train down through the tunnel deep below the English Channel, playful thoughts fill my head.