I’ve just got back from a little trip to Paris.Â I can’t even call it a flying visit because I took the Eurostar again.Â They are up and running after the fire, but not so frequent and the journe takes even longer.
It was another visit to our French offices for a union-related meeting where the top brass of the division tell a selection of workers from various European sites about what is going on, and a handy excuse to try out the new camera.
Looked at one way it was a bit of a disaster, because I am not really happy with the results, but its all a learning experience.Â Half the time I was messing around with settings I don’t really understand when I would have been better off leaving it all on full auto.Â The other half of the time I left it on full auto but might have done better doing something like changing the ISO settings or using a wider aperture.Â The problem was that although I left home at about 7:30am yesterday I didn’t reach Paris until about 2pm, local time.Â At this time of year the sun is already low in the sky, and it was pretty overcast.
Still… you have to learn somehow, don’t you?Â Â I just took pictures of typical tourist sights and some random things while walking from Gare du Nord to St Michel, where I caught a train to Versailles before the rush hour.
After freshening up a bit I went out in the dark to try some night photos (also disappointing) and had a chat witha Canadian who was out doing the same thing but with a bigger camera and a much bigger lens.
I stayed at the same hotel as last time, a stone’s throw from the Palais, but didn’t go near the place – being starving I headed to the market square in search of food.Â Its not a bad hotel: every room is a presidential suite.Â What that means is that bath is just the right size for President Sarkozy…
Today was a bit better.Â After our meeting I got a lift to the nearest train station (St Quentin en Yvelines I think) and caught the RER back to St Michel.Â The light was a bit better and I walked up to Gare du Nord by a different route – passing through the garment and textile quarter.
I eventually got home around 9pm today, feeling more than a bit knackered.Â I’m not sure if that is down to a lot of walking around Paris with luggage in tow, or the many, many hours spend numbing my backside on train seats, or a combination of the two.Â 36+ hours out of the house for a two-and-a-half hour meeting is a bit excessive though.
After two such trips this year I really fancy going back for a few days on holiday, so I can wander round without having a loaded backpack.