The exceptional carrots of Yorkshire

If you go to Paris, it is assumed you'll visit the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre. I went this week for the third time and I've still not seen either.

If you go to Chartres, meanwhile, it is assumed you'll visit the cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site. As far as I'm aware, that's pretty much the sole reason for heading there. I went to Chartres this week too and saw only an industrial estate and a McDonald's drive-through.

Ce n'est pas la Cathédrale de Chartres!

Such is the life of a geologist, sometimes, but there was much to enjoy in my brief sojourn Français. These were my highlights:

- Discovering that 'steak à cheval' doesn't mean horsemeat, but simply a steak with a fried egg riding 'horseback' upon it.

- Learning that the French word for geological cores is 'carottes'.

Ce n'est pas les carottes je cherche!

- Learning that the Jurassic cores we were there to inspect were 'des carottes exceptionnelles du Yorkshire'. They were stored in a carothèque, naturally.

La Carotthédrale de Chartres.

- Learning that 'Ne pas toucher' was an optional order if one of your team knew the person who'd written the label on the carotte.

- Discovering that - no matter your nationality - everyone loves ammonites on #FossilFriday.

Fossile Vendredi, c'est formidable!

- Noting that one of the chemistry labs full of flammable materials was run by an F. Lamy.

- Finishing the trip off with a marvellous meal out in a small Parisian restaurant with two Brits, two Germans, and three French guys, and agreeing that European integration really is the only way to proceed.