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Monday, 28 February 2011
In and out

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I wonder if these pictures fully reflect my experience in perspective. I noticed that when I was in bed in the hotel room the tower loomed and blocked my window (like an alien space ship dominating the sky).  However when I stood at the window the perspective of sky and cityscape made the tower less significant. It appeared smaller and further away.

Posted by bigblue on 28/02/2011 at 08:19 AM
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The Stairwell

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I had forgotten how attractive this could look at night. This stairwell has previous form on my blog.

Posted by bigblue on 28/02/2011 at 07:34 AM
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Sunday, 27 February 2011
Day and night in Barcelona

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A variation on a previous theme.

Posted by bigblue on 27/02/2011 at 08:16 AM
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Saturday, 26 February 2011
Up and down

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Looking up at Europa Operanda.

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Looking down at the Halle des Grandes Lignes.

Link du Jour: An ethnic walking tour from Gare du Nord to Montmatre.

Posted by bigblue on 26/02/2011 at 08:31 AM
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Friday, 25 February 2011
Europa Operanda

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A copy of a sculpture by Ludmilla Tchérina.  I took this photo earlier this week in one of my favourite railway stations, Gare du Nord, Paris. With 180 million passengers per year it is the busiest railway station in Europe, and the third busiest in the world. I believe the original sculpture can be found at the French end of the channel tunnel. 

My previous postings from Gare du Nord are:

Please see also this lovely panoramic view from next to the sculpture.

Posted by bigblue on 25/02/2011 at 08:00 PM
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Wednesday, 23 February 2011
Paris metro

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I took several photographs yesterday and this is one of my favourites. The camera on my phone is pretty good quality but the “automatic” setting does not seem to pick up when the conditions involve low light or artificial lighting.

Posted by bigblue on 23/02/2011 at 06:36 AM
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Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Early train to Paris

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I’m about to leave Ebbsfleet for a day-trip to Paris. It’s a bit busier than usual, perhaps because of half-term.

Posted by bigblue on 22/02/2011 at 05:54 AM
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Monday, 21 February 2011
Oxted parking woes

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On a daily basis cars are parked along Church Lane, which leads from the A25 to Oxted station, blocking two-way traffic flow. One positive consequence is that this acts like a “traffic calming measure” as cars can only proceed in single file, from one direction at a time at this point.  At peak times (e.g. school dropping/fetching times) the “calming” turns into a mini-gridlock situation. This is the route that busses and cars from out of town use to bring pupils to the local school. On the negative side it highlights that there is little parking for out-of-town commuters at the station so they are forced to park in the more residential areas.  According to the National Rail website there is a waiting list for commuter parking permits (which cost over £700 per year). 

Another development in Oxted is that the Surrey County Council plan to introduce charges for the street parking which they control in the central area. This is a move which has been objected to by Tandridge Council and local businesses. Meanwhile Tandrige Council controls two parking lots in Oxted, and last year decided to raise the price of the permit for their long term parking (60 spaces) also invoking the ire of local businesses who depend on these spaces for their staff.

It seems to me that there are a number of conflicting interests here: local businesses, residents, commuters, council and these are not easily reconcilled in a time of economic austerity and lack of resources (parking). Part of the problem seems to to me to be an over-reliance on cars. One solution might be for Tandridge Council and the Railways to encourage other forms of travel to and from the station (e.g. bicycles?). Another solution could be for local residents to hire out space on their driveways to out of town commuters.

The photograph above was taken on Thursday afternoon last week, at sunset, when there were 14 cars parked along this short stretch of road.

Posted by bigblue on 21/02/2011 at 08:20 AM
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