Saturday, 10 December 2016

Trip to France

Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet recently, but I was on a business trip to France, didn’t have access to a computer, so took an ‘Internet holiday’.

I was visiting a factory in the town of Vendôme that was building a piece of equipment for the company I work for, so me and two of my workmates had to go to have a look at it.

As you can see, Vendome is about 180 km South West of Paris, and we had a slightly involved journey there. For some reason, our flight was from Edinburgh Airport, so I headed off early in the mopning to pick up the others and leave my car at the airport. From there it was a flight to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, a bus to Gare Monparnasse (railway station), a TGV to Vendrôme, and finally a taxi to our hotel. We arrived late enough for half of the journey to be in the dark, so didn’t really appreciate how fast the TGV was.

Our hotel - image from Google Maps

As we spent long days in the factory (9 – 10 hours), I didn’t see the town in daylight until a half hour ‘window’ on the last day, so my photos are a bit dull. Also, neither of my workmates could speak French at all; our host, the salesman from the UK division of the company we were visiting, couldn’t speak it either, so it was left to me to deal with things with my rudimentary knowledge of the language! Add to that, I knew that as a vegetarian I would have some difficulties finding food, and this was compounded by one of my workmates being a vegan – fun and games ahead!

Vendrôme is a very nice town so here’s a selection of photos:

Tower in middle of town. Has a plaque commemorating British airmen who were stationed nearby during WW1.
Church that had an ice-skating rink in its inner courtyard!

Really nice shop.

Another church illuminated at night.

Workmen were fitting Christmas lights to the wall beside the river. Typical French approach to Health and Safety!

Porte St Georges - only surviving gate (of four) that guarded the entrances to the town centre.

View of town at nightfall from castle.

Christmas lights in street outside our hotel.

As it turned out, we didn’t have too much difficulty finding vegetarian and vegan food, it was just a question of asking in restaurants and they would make us something specially. I found an Indian restaurant with its menu in English and had expected that it would be British owned, (or at least by English speaking Indians), but they didn’t understand English at all! Worked everything out in broken French and very good it was too!

We headed home on Saturday morning, and being in daylight we could see just how fast the TGV was. You know you’re going quickly but it’s only when you pass a road and the cars seem like they are stopped do you realise just how fast you’re going – 320km/h, 200mph!

Our very fast train pulling into the station.

We had a couple of hours in Paris before we had to catch the bus to the airport so went for a walk. We headed towards the Eiffel Tower, but it was just too far away for us to get to in the time we had. I hadn’t been to Paris for about 35 years, so it was great to have a look around. One thing that strikes you is the amount of scooters.

Just about every street was like this!

Met this familiar friend!

Eiffel Tower in distance.

Sheep keeping the grass short in centre of city.

Don't know what this is, but it looked really nice.

Entrance to underground railway station.

Who needs parking radar!

After that it was onto the bus to the airport, our flight back, then a drive back home. I wish I could have had more time to see things, but you can’t complain when someone else is paying for your trip!


  1. Third from last photo is Dôme des Invalides, a church housing the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte.

  2. Fun! Glad you and your vegan work mate didn't starve. I have basic French I learned in high school it was barely adequate in Montreal 15 years ago.